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Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Posted by arktrees 6b NWArkansas (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 10, 10 at 20:44

This is a cultivar of the "Caddo" ecotype of Sugar Maple Acer saccharum. This ecotype originates from a few small canyons west of Oklahoma city. There was apparently trees that became trapped in these canyons due to pasted climate change, and had to become much more heat and drought resistant to survive in their new climate. The late John Pair of Kansas State University evaluated many seedlings over 20+ years and selected two of these for further propagation. These two became the cultivars 'John Pair' and 'Autumn Splendor'.

I have searched many times for photos of these cultivars but they are few and far between. In fact I have found none for this cultivar. As luck would have it the local botanical garden as been planting this cultivar for many of it's sugar maples. So I happened to go to the botanical garden and some of these Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor' were at peak or near peak color. Unfortunately I did not have a real camera and had to rely upon my cell phone to take a couple of photos. These are those photos. I'm placing them here so that those that are considering this cultivar will at least have something to go by. Also note the weather has been very warm and very dry for this time of year, after a an unusually hot and dry summer. However these trees were still VERY impressive. The photos do not do them justice as to just how outrageous orange they were. I believe it was three years ago these trees were planted. Hope this helps someone.

Arktrees

Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 10, 10 at 21:33

Apparently planted in sand, without mulching or providing significant grass-free areas.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Not in sand. But it is a small hill, and I don't know what the soil is, but it's almost certain have a strong clay component. They are pretty good taking care of their plants. However as stated these have been there a few years and are a bit outside the main areas. Plus they have been hit extremely hard with the the economy. Frankly, they likely had to make hard choices.

Arktrees


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

I have asked a few locals (Kansas City & KSU) to really give me the true story on these Caddo Maples. When should I use them, and when should I NOT use them.
The consensus has been that they are amazing performers in higher pH soils with no irrigation. Use them in tough, dry areas.
But if you give them too nice of soil or too regular of irrigation or moisture and they flounder. Seems the better choice for excellent soil or irrigated sites is Legacy, Fall Fiesta or Green Mountain.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Performance will almost certainly depend allot on to what they are grafted. These trees are definitely grafted, and if I had to guess, then I would say standard Acer saccharum root stock. I say standard Acer saccharum do the fact that all the seed grown "Caddo" sugar maples I have seen listed, commanded a pretty significant price premium, in line with various cultivars. Therefore it would make much more economic sense to graft them to standard sugar maple root stock. Also there are other trees of this selection in the garden where they get more water/fertilizer and nearly all our soil is acidic, and those trees are doing well as you would expect if they were on standard root stock vs Caddo rootstock.

Also one other somewhat related observation not directly related to Autumn Splendor but important none the less. One of the local cities recently planted a significant number of trees along a biking/walking trail. About 1/3 of these tree were Sugar Maples. These Sugar Maples were approximately half 'Green Mountain', and half 'Fall Fiesta' aka Bailsta (the ID tags were still present). All were planted in a similar environment and given the same apparent care. Between the two cultivars the 'Fall Fiesta' were fairing far better as a whole than the 'Green Mountain'. These are all newly planted trees. Hopefully they all survive somehow.

Arktrees


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

It'd be nice if they would work out here and were available.

Dan


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Let us know how they're doing in 20 or 30 years.
That certainly looks like a great spot for testing tolerance to heat and drought.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 11, 10 at 12:56

Bailey's web site claims and photos have made me interested in 'Bailsta' for a time but the one specimen I have found here had little meat on it yet was priced at a hundred dollars plus. Foliage was not impressive either. Would be great if there was a local facility doing comprehensive testing and displaying of new cultivars in demonstration plots. Vancouver, Seattle and Portland have multiple botanical gardens, experiment stations etc. between them yet none are doing this.

The Oregon Garden sounded like it was going to be a local nursery industry products showcase but did not turn out that way. During my one visit years after it had been built asking about the identities of some particular (unlabeled) trees at the information counter resulted in being informed that they were not keeping track of such things.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

I've wanted one for a long time but never could find it. I tried a regular Caddo maple but it didn't seem to be too happy in the well maintained lawn. That's obvious since slimwhiman said the same thing.

I collected seeds from this Mexican sugar maple aka Acer skutchii and came up with only one seedling. Very few viable seeds. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://ag.sfasu.edu/UserFiles/File/PLANTS/Acer%2520skutchii.pdf&pli=1

Maybe you could try them and see how they do up there? I thought they had nice fall color. They had big samaras.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Lou,
I am completely unfamiliar with Acer skutchii. That doc looks great though. Where did you come up with seed from? That looks very interesting. In fact I have been growing various species from seed the last couple years, and giving them away. Something like this for our botanical garden would be great IMHO.

As for Autumn Splendor, I don't know where are botanical garden is getting them from, but I do know that one of our local nurseries can get them as they had gotten two the last time I stopped by. I have also seen them on a few wholesale lists, and another local nursery got 'John Pair' this year. They seem to be becoming much more available, so may be able to find a nursery that can get it for you now, that is if you have room with all those Shantungs you got going. All I've seen seem graphed to standard sugar maple rootstock, so would probable handle a yard environment better, but I can't say about the pH.

On a side note, how are your Shantungs? Our Sugar Maples among other things are beginning to color, but not the slightest hint from our Fire Dragon. Only change at all has been some of the exposed leaves becoming more of an olive green, instead of dark green. On the plus side, it added almost 1" caliper this year.

Arktrees


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Arktrees,

The seeds came from those very same trees at SFASU (the pictures you saw are from there). I wasn't even aware that they were A. skutchii till the director of arboretum Dr. Creech told me. I thought it was just another regular southern sugar maple that I saw all over the arboretum with bright yellow fall color but it wasn't.

I'm afraid that I've run out of room to try any more trees. I'm going to give this maple to a friend and see how it does there. I'm going to try and go there to collect more seeds.

My shantung maples are doing well except for some burned leaves after very hot and dry August. It hit as high as 107*. This regular SM that I picked up from big box store sure have thick trunk after several years. Nice yellow fall color. Winter wind blast is the problem. The fall color leaves don't stay on long enough. Strong winter blast just simply blew them off. So annoying.

I got Blaine's Dragon, another red one from Metro Maples last winter as test plant and it seemed to be more heat tolerant. Nice leaf shape. The pictures from MM in the past showed more of purple reddish color.

Apparently two years ago, I gave one of SM seedlings to my brother that ended up having red fall color past 2 years. I'm going to start grafting it if that happens again this year. That's the only red one that I know of that I grew from seed.

The Fire Dragons in Houston and Austin look to be doing well.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

I'd like to understand why the ones in the picture are grafted. If the original trees (the "Caddo" ecotype) are so hardy, I would think it would be the ROOT part that would be so important to retain - that is the part interfacing with the soil. But if they are grafted, then it is the above ground growth that is the "hardy" Caddo maple.

I can understand grafting for fruit production (apples, peaches, etc) and for foliage characteristics, but this seems the opposite of what I expected.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Mee three. I'd be grafting stuff ON to the Caddo rootstock and seeing how that went.

Dan


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

"Performance will almost certainly depend allot on to what they are grafted. These trees are definitely grafted, and if I had to guess, then I would say standard Acer saccharum root stock. I say standard Acer saccharum do the fact that all the seed grown "Caddo" sugar maples I have seen listed, commanded a pretty significant price premium, in line with various cultivars. Therefore it would make much more economic sense to graft them to standard sugar maple root stock. Also there are other trees of this selection in the garden where they get more water/fertilizer and nearly all our soil is acidic, and those trees are doing well as you would expect if they were on standard root stock vs Caddo rootstock."

To be clear, I assume they are grafted onto standard rootstock. Those planted in a Bermuda lawn area with lots of fertilizer and regular water, are doing VERY well and growing fast. This would fit with slimwhitman and others info about seedling Caddo not doing as well in a good lawn environment. If those in the lawn area are grafted to Caddo rootstock, then you would expect them not to be fairing as well. But those in the lawn area are very well. That also fits with the trail data in one of the links above where they used drip irrigation, therefore steady water supply. Can't say about the soil pH, but almost all our soils are acidic. I looked up the county soil map for this area, and it says they are planted in a Razort Gravelly Silt Loam, so good drainage. I'm pretty confident that you can believe the grafting nursery (or liner producer) will take the method that will make them the most money. In this case the "Autumn Splendor" scion/bud onto stand rootstock, while the Caddo seedlings are grown out and sold at a premium. So while biologically it would make more sense to graft to Caddo rootstock, economically there is pressure to use standard cheaper rootstock. So unless they are sold as specifically as grafted to Caddo rootstock, I would highly highly doubt that they were. Lastly, drought tolerance would likely be improved due to the crown still having it's drought tolerant characteristics, however soil pH could still be affected. In my location, dry site tolerance is probable a bigger deal locally, I doubt it would matter much. But in a much drier climate, higher soil pH areas, it could make a big difference.

In short, follow the economics over following the biology until pressure forces a change in practice.

Arktrees


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

So while biologically it would make more sense to graft to Caddo rootstock, economically there is pressure to use standard cheaper rootstock.

If I had a nursery op, I'd be growing Caddo for grafting rootstock, so I could sell maples to the Intermountain West and parts of CA. That would expand the fall color palette, spp richness, and I'd charge a little premium after the advertising expense.

I'm surprised someone like Schmidt isn't doing it now (maybe they are and aren't ready, I'll ask someone next time I see them).

Dan


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 12, 10 at 12:35

You're talking about an industry that for the most part does not even make sure stock is not root-bound before it is grafted upon or sold to the retail outlet or final consumer. Same as in other fields here and there some innovation or improvement occurs but on a day to day basis long-retained bad ideas are cherished and universal. With the dollar the prime motivation and top concern cost-cutting tricks, like buying the cheapest rootstock are bound to be popular and common. Cheap can include vigorous, hardy, easy to grow etc. after grafting.

In my market grafted named forms of the native vine maple are grafted onto Japanese maple seedlings. These will be much less tolerant of damp and drought than vine maple seedlings would be. And great quantities of small, inexpensive vine maple plants are on the local market due to the interest in native planting by public agencies and the general public.

Recently I planted a native spruce cultivar in a stream-side site such as the species might occur in naturally here. But I'm left wondering if it is grafted onto a Norway spruce, a popular rootstock for spruces, and if that species won't like the situation.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

I'm not talking about 18.95 Acer griseum at Home Depot/Lois. I'm talking about the people who know what they are doing recognizing the value and paying for it initially - the early adopters.

You are discussing a situation further along the Bass Diffusion Curve than I am.

Dan


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

I made it out to my favorite wholesale tree farm a few weeks back during peak fall color. The grower has all the common sugar maple cultivars in nearby rows. The best for fall color was John Pair, followed closely by Autumn Splendor. The worst...Green Mountain.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Thanks for the feedback slim. That is very good to know, and definitely something that I will have filed in the back of my mind. Hopefully both cultivars will become more available. I know I would have appreciated it the last couple years with with heat and ongoing drought. Certainly would have made my life much easier if I had these planted instead.

As a side note, any thoughts on rate of growth?

Thanks again,
Arktrees


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Growth rate for Autumn Splendor is equal or better than the rest of the sugar maples, especially in this drought year (this was our worst drought year since the dust bowl). John Pair is a bit slower, but marginally. It also matures to a smaller tree. But the John Pair fall color has been reliably the best of all sugar maples for this grower in his fields.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

EXCELLENT!!! The kind of info you will not find in most cases.

Thank you sir.
Arktrees


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Hey, slim! Did he have any 'Sandersville' aka Harvest Moon growing with the others? I have 'John Pair', 'Autumn Splendor', 'Hiawatha' aka Oregon Trail, and 'Commemoration' at the house. Of those 4, 'John Pair' had the best fall color this year easily but it was the first fall for all four of them. I killed a 'Legacy' this summer but planted another a couple weeks ago and recently planted a 'Sandersville' to observe the reported growth rate and fall color. I must say that judging from the specimen I was sent, it did put out a growth spurt of around 4' last year.

Thanks!

John

ps - Good to see you posting here on the tree forum. I think it's been a while since I've seen you over here


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

John,
He did not have 'Sandersville'. That is a cultivar that I have never seen myself, either. As for my absence, it has been a year or two since I have been here. Guess I've been busy. Thanks for noticing.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

Wouldn't Acer barbatum be a better choice for Arkansas? I have a few and they perform well even down here near the gulf coast.


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

ATH, 'Sandersville' originated in Sandersville, GA so it should do fine. As far as acer sacharum, there are many seed grown trees in my town. Probably several dozen and they have done fairly well the past two difficult years. A couple do exhibit crown die back, the most severe of which had a gas line dug pretty close to the trunk during summer 2011 and went downhill since. It has the most outrageous fall color in 2010... it was actually THE tree that hooked my interest in planting trees for fall color. Sad.

I have an acer leucoderme planted but I probably should add an acer barbatum to the place. Do you know of any cultivars of this tree? Otherwise, I have a pretty good source for seed grown Arkansas native a. barbatum.

John

ps - I am certainly no expert, but I wonder if hybrid vigor comes into play with 'Sandersville' being acer barbatum x acer sacharum or acer leucoderme.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandersville patent info


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RE: Acer saccharum 'Autumn Splendor'

alabama,
Depends on where you are at. Sugar Maple Acer saccharum grows widely in north Arkansas, and YES I am sure it is saccharum. Most range mapes don't show it to be native here, but show it at the Arkansas Missouri state line, but that is wrong. They are very common especially on the north and east side of hills in the Ozark Plateau. See below.

Arktrees

This one was growing along side the road in the Ozark National Forest.

I want this Sugar Maple


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