Spring 2004
October Glory Red Maple
In our yard, this is 'Bradley's Tree'


October Glory Red Maple
Growth Chart
Detailed Facts
Fall Color Change
Tree Calendar
Julie's Trees

Facts at a Glance
Acer rubrum -
'October Glory'

Planted March 1999
Planting height: 9'
Planting trunk: 2.5"

2006 Update
7-yr height: 33'
7-yr trunk: 22"
7-yr spread: 22'

Mature Height: 40 to 50'
Spread: 25 to 35'
Growth rate: Fast
Form: Broad, round
Flowers: Red
Fall color: Red
Hardiness zone: 5 - 8
Culture: Sun/partial shade

Best feature:
Fall color

Worst problem:
Surface roots

Do over? Yes

Birth of a Helicopter Seed

It's Been a Long, Slow Winter

NEW! Measuring the Height of Trees: The Bradleymeter

Swamp Maple and the Pool of a Thousand Lives

October Glory Spider

October Glory: Far Exceeding the Tree Tag

Can You Hear It? Close Your Eyes. Listen.

Tripping Over the Fact That I Don't Have a Compost Bin


Blog | Julie's Trees | About | Links | Essays | Mail | Julie's Photography
A Tree Grower's Diary
October Glory Red Maple


Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver

March 31, 2006

April 15, 2005 -- Flowers from a distance.

Fall color

Key identifying features.. Look for a tree with tiny red flowers in early spring and brilliant red color in fall.

Common name.. October Glory Red Maple

Scientific name.. Acer rubrum - 'October Glory'

Mature height.. 40 to 50 feet

Mature spread.. 25 to 35 feet

Form.. Broad, round, symmetrical.

Fruit.. Samaras take flight later in spring, providing a feast for the birds and squirrels who love to eat them.

Flowers.. Tiny red flowers are the first sign of spring in the trees.

March 29, 2005

April 5, 2005

Foliage.. Deciduous; star-shaped leaves are sometimes tinged red when they first emerge in spring, changing to clear green all summer, then to brilliant red in late fall. These stunning red leaves can sometimes hang on for a month, making the October Glory one of the best trees for fall color. However, since the tree changes color late in the season, and holds its leaves so long, by the time they've all fallen, it's too cold to rake! (Or perhaps that's just an excuse to not go outside in the cold.) Leaves are opposite, simple, lobed. Many of the leaf stems are red, at least for the first few weeks.

Growth rate.. Fast; two feet or more a year. (See the growth chart for more pictures.)

Hardiness zones.. 5 through 8

Culture.. Requires full sun to partial shade. While the tree is drought tolerant once established, it prefers wet soil or at least to be kept moist for optimal growth. (Red maples are also known as swamp maples; they like their water!) This red maple variety is highly adaptable to many soil types.

Best time to prune.. In fall or early winter, when the tree is dormant, or, in summer once the leaves have reached full size.

Of special note.. This tree should be pruned to develop a strong central leader. Surface roots can be a problem. In summer of 2004, I started noticing surface roots in the grass. By May 2006, we were tripping over them.


Julie's Comments.. (June 2004) This is one of my favorite trees, planted in honor of my older son, Bradley, whose birthday is on October 31st. He's the one who chose the October Glory tree. When it was first planted, he and I could not imagine the little tree would ever provide significant shade for the yard and the tree house, but only five years later the tree house is shaded all morning long. We also love to watch the birds who seem to enjoy hanging out in this tree. One nuisance: roots are showing up in the grass, which could be a problem in a few years to mow over, assuming the grass survives the shade. The intense red fall color is usually stunning and lasts for a month. The tree is even interesting in winter with its red branch ends and late winter buds.


Planting date.. March 1999. 2.5-inch diameter trunk. Height: 9 feet. Burlap disintegrated during planting, resulting in the root ball loosening quite a bit. Plus, we had a hard time getting the tree to stand straight in its planting hole, so it underwent a fair bit of pushing and pulling. I was very worried for the first few weeks that it would repay me for the abuse by croaking on me. Alas, it seems quite happy here now.

Update, April 2006.. The surface roots are showing up in the yard as far as 10 feet from the trunk, and she's still a baby yet. We are trying to come up with a plan to make them less of a problem. We need a compost bin!

DO OVER?.. Yes, but not in a spot where surface roots would be a pain to mow around or play near.



See the October Glory Red Maple Journal
See the October Glory Red Maple Growth Chart
For Julie's detailed comments, see the October Glory Red Maple fact page
Read the latest Tree Grower's Diary blog entry

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