April 2005, the "driveway" tree blossoms.
Notice the hint of yellow in the flowers.
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.
One identifying characteristic of Armstrong maple is the gray bark. Here, gray is from two seasons
ago. Red: last year.