Monday, March 3, 2014

Crimson King Maple:



            It seems like either you have great fall leaf color and just green leaves in the summer, or you have interesting summer leaf color and then nothing spectacular in the fall. That my friends is the way it is with the Crimson King Maple; dark burgundy leaves in the summer, brown, nothing to look at leaves come fall.

            The Crimson King is the most popular tree in the US, but it isn’t native to our country, it originated in Europe. Its genus line stems from the Norway maple but doesn’t get to the heights of a typical Norway maple, C K’s only reach 50 feet tall and about 35 feet in width.

            The sun turns the leaves burgundy, making it stick out in the landscaping. Plant some Golden Privets nearby or a bed of any kind of yellow flowering perennial or annual and you have  a very eye-catching contrast.

            Not much bugs it, though aphids, if in high numbers, can litter your yard with dead leaves.

            It takes droughts well, and grows in just about any well- drained soil.

            Root girdling can be a problem, especially when it gets to be around 20 to 25 years of age. Check periodically for a root that wants to grow around the base of the truck three to six inches below the soil line.

            As the trunk and this root grow it causes a strangling effect on the trunk, pinching off the water tubes that go up that side of the tree. If you notice the leaves on one side of the tree growing smaller than on the other side, chances are you have a root girdle; cut it out and hope you got it in time. It would be also a good idea to flood that side of the tree once a week, its ability to suck up water has been greatly compromised.

            If you buy one of these burgundy beauties just know that a one inch trunk purchase will need some selective pruning so it will grow with a nice shape; a two inch trunk purchase can be planted and left to grow, the pruning has all been do for you.

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