Autumn Blaze maple spacing

old1880homeApril 26, 2008

My city's utility company came through and cut down our two 100 year old maples. We live on a busy corner street right downtown. Devestating! But that's another story :-( They are replacing those trees with 3 autumn blaze maples. We need to stake where we want our new trees planted but I'm not sure how far to space them apart. Any tips?

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Around 12-15m apart to allow full development of the crowns.

Good that they are replacing them, but bad that they are doing so with a monoculture of a single clone - that's storing up problems for the future. Get them to plant three different trees to give variety.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:55AM
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I frequently find myself in agreement with Mr. Pineresin. I do, however, disagree with his statement that 3 of the same specie of tree represents monoculture. IMO, this is a city-wide issue, or in large cities, a neighborhood/part of town issue. Planting 3 of the same, or for that matter a whole several blocks, of the same type tree, lends a desirable degree of repetition and uniformity to the design, and aids in future maintenance issues. Repetition is a key part of pleasing landscape design, and is also frequently seen in natural stands of trees.

I am certain my statements will be argued against. Been there before-many times;^) But, I maintain, 3 of the same type tree on the terrace by your home does not represent monoculture planting.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 6:56PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Whole blocks of the same kind of tree is what left so many towns treeless when Dutch elm disease hit.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 6:29AM
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Hi +oM,

It's not just three of one species, but three of one clone, all genetically identical. And also with the presumption that the same utility company is likely doing the same at hundreds, if not thousands, of other properties in the area. That represents a very large loss of biodiversity.

PS specie species . . . not the same ;-)


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:36AM
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We have an "arbor board" that's in charge of the planting. It is my inderstanding that the trees that are being selected are specific to the soil for each area. I'm not sure why they've left it up to me to decide where I want them planted and I'm still unsure of the spacing.

The following an article taken from the Grand Rapids Press:

Lowell: Arbor Day Foundation recognizes city
Monday, April 14, 2008By Morgan JaremaThe Grand Rapids Press
LOWELL -- The city's trees have fallen on hard times in recent years, but officials say that's about to change.
In the wake of years of complaints about too-aggressive tree trimming and removal, the city has earned Tree City USA status from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

"What this does is really show our commitment to trees from now on," City Manager Dave Pasquale said.

The designation recognizes the city's efforts to improve its image, at least where trees are concerned.

Lowell formed an arbor board last year to oversee trimming, felling and planting of trees; passed a tree-care ordinance; and established a tree-planting fund that aims to plant 120 trees this year.

The fund includes $25,000 from the Lowell Area Community Fund and $5,000 from the Look Memorial Fund granted. Lowell Light & Power also is contributing two annual payments of $8,026 to the tree fund.

State Forester Kevin Sayers said the designation goes beyond being a good public-relations move.

"Without this program, many communities wouldn't have any standards at all," he said.

Lowell is one of five cities this year to earn the Tree City USA designation. More than 100 Michigan cities hold the designation.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:14AM
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Resin, you suggested a spacing of at least 12-15 meters. We don't have that much room. If they were closer together, say 20 ft apart, wouldn't they provide a nice canopy?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:48AM
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At that spacing, their crowns would merge together, and some of the lower branches would get shaded out, like trees close together in a forest. The middle tree of the three may well end up rather thin, 'squashed' between the other two. But they'd all stay alive.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:14PM
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Autumn Blaze will grow just fine at 20' spacing. And as Resin suggests, what you will end up with is a tendency towards higher crown formation, ala forest trees. Not a bad thing, especially inasmuch as boulevard trees need to be "raised up" for clearance purposes anyway.

Lacey, whole blocks of the same kind of tree....left whole blocks treeless, not whole towns. Whole towns planted in the same kind of tree did result in whole towns being treeless when a disease for that tree type came through. This distinction is exactly the point I was making in my earlier post.

Three of the same clone, planted in front of the OPs home, will not result in the whole town losing its' tree cover, should some pest or disease that kills that tree clone come through.

I have personally participated in the removal of several thousand American elm trees from my citys' streetsides. I am not unfamiliar with the concept of diversity;^)


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:44PM
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Thanks so much, everyone, for your great feedback. I'll post pictures when they're planted which should be this week some time.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 7:39AM
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grinder12000(4 now 5 I guess)

On a side not - Autumn Blaze maple are outstanding trees and I give the city a thumbs up for that.

Many cities will plant boring trees that live for 20 years with no distinction. Generic "tree".

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:28PM
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