May 2005
Street Trees
Two Armstrong Maples growing tall, not wide.

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Street Trees
Journal and
Growth Chart
Detailed Facts
Julie's Trees




Facts at a Glance
The cultivar of these trees is unclear, but I am reasonably certain they are Armstrong maple.

Acer x freemanii 'Armstrong'

Planting date March 2000
Planting height: 8'
Planting trunk: 1"

2006 Update
Driveway tree

6-year height: 27'
6-year trunk: 17"

Farside tree
6-year height: 28'
6-year trunk: 18"

Mature Height: 50 to 70'
Spread: 15'
Growth rate: Fast
Form: Narrow, oval
Flowers: Red
Fall color: Yellow, orange
Hardiness zone: 3 - 7
Culture: Sun, partial shade

Best feature:
Fits in small yards

Worst problems:
None yet known

Do over? Yes

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Blog | Julie's Trees | About | Links | Essays | Mail | Julie's Photography
A Tree Grower's Diary
Street Trees: Two Armstrong Maples Out By the Street

STREET TREES JOURNAL and GROWTH CHART

Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver

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Two maples planted by the street in March 2000 are known as the "farside" tree, above (the little one in front) . . .

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. . . and the "driveway" tree, shown here one year after planting, in May 2001.

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April 2005, the "driveway" tree blossoms.
Notice the hint of yellow in the flowers.

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Maple flowers, the "farside" tree: April 5, 2005. Notice how these flowers, too, have a strong touch of yellow. Take a look at the flowers of my October Glory Red Maple in the backyard. Those flowers are all red.

For a long time, I had posted in my diary that these two trees were red maples. The guy who planted them told me they were October Glory red maples, and at first, I believed him -- the trees came with no tags or printed information. As soon as the leaves emerged that first spring, I had my doubts as to their actual cultivar. By that fall, when both trees turned yellow, not red, as would be expected of any October Glory, I was convinced they were in fact NOT October Glory red maples. After six years of watching these trees grow tall and not wide, and studying their flowers, leaves, bark and twigs, I fully believe they are Armstrong maples, a cultivar of red and silver maple parents. They aren't even considered red maples though, having been classified with the male parent: Freeman maple, which is a mixture of red and silver maple, silver being the male parent.

I probably need to change that on my landscape map.

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One identifying characteristic of Armstrong maple is the gray bark. Here, gray is from two seasons ago. Red: last year.

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Farside tree leaf: Armstrong maple leaves look similar to those of their silver maple parent, not quite as deeply lobed.

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Driveway tree leaf: Leaf stems are often red, like the red maple parent.

THE FARSIDE TREE

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May 2000, two months after planting.
Bradley is 5.

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May 2005, five years after planting.
Bradley is 10, Gregory is 4.

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June 2001

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June 2002

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November 2002

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May 2005. I love this picture of Gregory.

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Sept. 9, 2005:
After a hot, dry August, the lawn is completely dormant -- brown and parched.
When the trees were younger, I would have given them a soaking with the water hose by now, but not this year. I believe the trees are established enough to fend for themselves. So far, so good; the trees look plenty healthy.

 

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Sept. 2, 2008:
Three years ago I wrote about not supplementing the street trees' natural water supply. Update: the trees are thriving. (Foreground: the farside tree. Background: the greenspire linden.)

 

 

THE DRIVEWAY TREE

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June 2001, one year after planting.

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September 2008 (about 25 feet tall)

Black spaceholder type.

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June 2002

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November 2002

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May 2004

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October 2004

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January 2005

The driveway tree as seen through the Greenspire Linden and the Japanese Red Maple.
I love looking at these pictures of the trees in different seasons.

 


For Julie's detailed comments, see the Street Trees facts page
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