Red Sunset Maple vs. Willow Oak...Opinions

thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)October 21, 2013

I realize that these are two totally different trees but both the Sunset Red Maple and Willow Oak seem to be capable for my needs as a large specimen tree for the backyard. Pure looks, low maintenance, and ultimate spread (less is better) are most important to me. If you were me, which would you choose and why?

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poaky1

I would choose the Willow oak. I love oaks, that's my reason for choosing the Willow oak. I think it will live longer. In m y experience oaks provide more shade than most maples. Sugar Maples are better than Silver and red maples for longevity. It is hard to beat the fall colors of some maples, though. I guess a good variety of maples and oaks if you have the space is best. However, I choose Willow oak over any Maple.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:20AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

Yeah, I wish I had the space for both because then the decision would be a lot easier. Sugar Maples are slower growers. If it wasn't for that, it would be considered as well.

This post was edited by thapranksta on Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 12:07

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:05PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Don't count out Sugar Maple. From what I've seen (here at GW and elsewhere), the better cultivars (i.e., faster growing in this case) can grow about as fast as a Red Sunset Acer rubrum. Look at 'Bonfire', 'Bailsta' (sold as 'Fall Fiesta'), 'Commemoration', and 'Legacy' for faster growing sugar maples. All can *almost* keep up with a red maple's growth rate, more or less.

As an added bonus, they're all more heat tolerant varieties, which matters in Tennessee.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:33PM
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scotjute

I'd lean to the Willow Oak over the Red Maple. It make a dependable quick-growing quality tree. Small leaves and acorns also help with low-maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:38PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I bought a Fall Fiesta from b&b 3 years ago and its growing just over a 1' a year and thats a b&b plant.

This is much faster growing than a Red Sunset for sure.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Sequoiadendron4(6B)

Yeah I'm with them, I'd go with the willow oak for sure. I think the oak is a more graceful tree and it has the capability of a taller crown which makes for grass growing more easily underneath.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 10:53AM
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drrich2(6)

The oak. Oaks produce acorns, food for a number of wildlife, including squirrels, and I like squirrels. That said, some people do not.

Richard.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 3:25PM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

Squirrels are nice. However I do have fruit trees so their company isn't always desired. lol.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:21AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

Question: Would both of these trees need to be considerably spaced from a patio? And if so, how much would be best?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Campanula UK Z8

'squirrels are nice'...to eat?
Since moving to a 5 acre poplar (for now) wood, I have been eyeing the fat tree rats in the locale and pondering winter pot-roasts.
Would you? Could you?

I will certainly be looking out for the scavenging muntjacs infesting the wetlands.....along with the horrid little water deer (tusks? Bambi never had 'em)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 11:35AM
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drrich2(6)

"Would you? Could you?"

From my childhood memories, squirrel is very tasty but so many have to die to feed me a meal (I'm a big eater) that I can't really get behind it. Not a fairly advanced mammal, that looks so cute.

Now, 1 chicken could feed me a meal. A cow would feed me a number of meals.

One squirrel is an appetizer.

Your ethics may vary.

Richard.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 5:41PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Ah yes....but I can't see me stalking and felling a cow with my trusty Black Widow (catapult) or a deer, to be fair. Only farmers or crims tend to have guns in the UK - although one of my boys did buy some throwing axes........

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:16PM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

I wouldn't eat a squirrel for the reasons you describe....tree RAT. ;-)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Ah, but these are not our scrappy urban squirrels but healthy, well fed rural types.

Probably better to stick to rabbits (although there are many noisy pheasants nearby).....

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:56PM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

Will Willow Oak cause damage to a patio if planted 20 feet away?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 4:52PM
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