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No Color Maple

Posted by oregonwoodsmoke 5 OR (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 16, 10 at 16:47

The maple tree came with the house, so I don't know what variety it is. I keep waiting for the red leaves and every year the leaves turn straight to brown and fall off.

Do some maples not get fall color? Or do I need to do something for the tree to encourage the leaves to get red?

It's a pretty tree and well-loved, so its life isn't in any danger. Not the best location, but OK where it is (wow, do some people plant plants in weird places; I've had to rip out a lot of inappropriate inherited plantings in my lifetime). I'll keep it, regardless.

It's in full sun and getting enough water. Water is by irrigation and it never gives me any indication that it is getting too much water, either. I water deeply and infrequently.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: No Color Maple

Hmm here in the UK we have Field Maple (Act campestre) which tend to not colour up. They have very small leaves for a maple. Also Sycamore (A. pseudoplatanoides) doesn't do great colour tho they do turn yellow.


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RE: No Color Maple

Post a photo of the tree. Barks and buds or leaves if possible, and your approximate location for climate/conditions purposes.


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RE: No Color Maple

It's possible you have one of the local native maples, either Acer macrophylla, bigleaf maple, or Acer circinatum, vine maple. Bigleaf maples offer little to no fall color, turning a washed out yellow sometimes but most often just turning a dull brown before they fall. Vine maples are extremely variable in their fall coloring - some in the wild can color up beautifully; others not so much. Those planted in cultivated gardens tend not to offer much fall color, perhaps because they do receive more irrigation than their wild grown cousins.


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RE: No Color Maple

Bigleaf maple is usually some combination of yellow and tan or buff, sometimes giving an orange appearance. Maple tar spot has become prevalent here recently, on this tree, affecting how its leaves look by autumn.

Since adjacent wild vine maples vary markedly in fall color some of it is genetic. Maybe most of it - there are plenty of planted vine maples that turn good colors. Many of these receive little or no watering; many not getting watered, either in the wild or in cultivated settings do not produce good color.

Although making a go of dryish places when planted there, wild stands are characteristic of damp hollows and seepages. It being a Sec. Palmata maple, it would be expected to favor moist and fertile soils.


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RE: No Color Maple

yes.. an ID is imperative..

but regardless of that.. i posit that there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO.... to change what it does by its inherent nature ...

as a picea pungens is either blue or its not.. and nothing will make a green one a blue spruce ..

there is little you can do to make your maple into a fall red one.. short of planting one that will turn red in fall ...

and not all maples turn red ... most are yellow with some peachy in betweeners thrown in the mix ... in my MI anyway ...

about the only thing that will change a fall show is weather .... like the 10 weeks of drought i had this year.. which made a lot of trees lose their leaves early with little or no color change ...

i suppose if you have a tree that is wildly inappropriate to your soil conditions.. some change in the soil might change the tree .. e.g. pH issues ...

but if we are to presume that a MATURE tree like yours is twice as big below ground.. as above... where would you contemplate fixing the soil ... half of its roots are probably in the neighbors yard ... and working their way to the next neighbor down ...

i am not excited about your comment that it is ALMOST properly sited ... you better think long and hard about that fact situation .... [Not the best location, but OK where it is .... I'll keep it, regardless.] ... but it sounds like you have dealt with those issues before ... so i will leave it at that comment ...

good luck

ken


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RE: No Color Maple

The leaves are large. I know it isn't a vine maple. I'd recognize a vine maple.

It's never been trimmed up because I heard that maples can get sun burned bark, so it has branches almost all the way to the ground. This area is not native habitat for maples, so there aren't a lot of maples for me to compare it to.

It isn't something I would have planted, so I don't have any maple experience. I've tried a couple of maples in the past and couldn't get them to take.

I'll try to get some photos of it.

It's sited fine for the tree, just not in the best location for garden design. What is it with people who think a tree should be planted smack in the middle of the yard? The tree is far too large to be moved, so it will be staying where it is.

It could be worse. I've seen a lot of pine trees planted close to a house where they grow up underneath the eaves. At least this one has lots of space and good light.


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RE: No Color Maple

Bigleaf maple would be number one on my list of probabilities. From what I've heard, its very popular out west as an ornamental. I tried planting one here in the east. No such luck.


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RE: No Color Maple

From what I've heard, its very popular out west as an ornamental.

LOL!! Not where it grows naturally :-) It can become a HUGE tree, often much too large for most residential landscapes, breaks up rather easily in wind, has a very shallow root system that can lead to toppling with winter rains (oh, those power outages!!), resprouts aggressively from cut stumps and sheds a prolific amount of samaras and tons of leaves. It also has mediocre fall color at best. And it's prone to a number of fungal ailments and root rots. Few local nurseries sell them, but that may be because they seed themselves everywhere - hardly much of a need :-))

They are quite lovely when in bloom in early spring with long, pale yellow-green racemes well before the leaves appear and out here in the boonies, are a harbinger that spring and warm weather are on the way.


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RE: No Color Maple

Not necessarily in their natural range, no.
My understanding is they are grown in places- like california- where eastern maples may not do so well.


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RE: No Color Maple

>has a very shallow root system that can lead to toppling with winter rains (oh, those power outages!!)<

Most trees in the often shallow and heavy soils of this area have flat-bottomed root systems. This has nothing to do with a tendency to go over. I see no more of a particular vulnerability to toppling with bigleaf maple than I do with the western redcedar you also claimed was extra apt to blow over.

Most kinds of trees outside of arid regions produce primarily a pancake of shallow roots.

What bigleaf maple often does do, with age is rot out in the center while remaining alive on the outside. It even grows roots into its own composted core. This may lead to trunks pulling away. But, being a maple it has hard wood so it would break less readily than kinds like black cottonwood - which has this peculiarity of sometimes exploding apart during the summer, when in full leaf - and willow trees.

On the Camano Island property most of the failures each time there is a weather event that damages trees are those of shaded Scouler willows going over.

Conifers etc. falling on the power lines out in front, along the arterial have been already gaunt and clearly failing specimens coming from the property across the street, which was cleared to leave a thin line of them.


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RE: No Color Maple

Perhaps the situation is different on Camano Island. In the heavily wooded and typically sloped rural areas of Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties, it is not at all uncommon to see fallen trees as well as large branches lying everywhere after a strong wind and rain storm. A massive, uprooted western red cedar lay slowly decaying just behind my old place in Suquamish. My conversations with the PSE linemen attempting to restore power after our recent Thanksgiving storm indicated the primary cause was fallen trees, many in less than readily accessible locations. Since they spend much of their time dealing with this type of problem, I tend to assign a good bit of validity to their assessment, not to mention seeing the issue with my own eyes.


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