Big Leaf Maples - stunning colour this year

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Margot, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    This has been an exceptional year for our native Acer macrophyllum (Big Leaf Maple) fall colour display.

    Acer macrophyllum 10-2021.JPG
     
  2. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Member

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    When I was a kid, the big leaf maple was the first tree I could identify. In fact, it was THE maple as far as I was concerned.

    I remember when my parents brought home two Japanese maples, how much I hated them. In my mind, they were not true maples, only the big leaf maple would do.

    My parents never did get another maple, which thinking back, I am not sure why they didn’t. We enough room to plant dozens.

    I still have a fondness for the big leaf, but just don’t have the room for one in my small garden/yard. Ironically I now have a love of Japanese maples and have many planted around the yard. My child self would be flabbergasted by the change in my preferences!

    I may not have room for a big leaf but there are plenty along the creek that flows through my neighborhood. Beautiful yellow colors in the fall. They still bring a smile to my face after all these years and I often hold up a fallen leaf in wonder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
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  3. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Well-Known Member

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    Big Leaf's don't have to be big. They can be kept small or even reduced in stature and kept small. For example, this is a seedling that showed up in my yard about 5 years ago (this brings a smile to my face).

    IMG_20200610_122026080.jpg IMG_20200610_122125564.jpg
     
  4. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I understand ;-) (smile)
     
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  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wow, gorgeous. We have two of them, but I'm hoping to get some seedlings this winter from a friend. They grow only slowly here.

    There's also a lovely pink cultivar, can't remember what it's called: Mocha or somesuch. With luck I will scrounge a graft somewhere, but for sure it's not available in EU where even the basic version is, sadly, rare.
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I enjoyed reading your memories of Big Leaf Maple, @Worldly_Wrangler and,@Osoyoung, your suggestion that a Big Leaf Maple could be kept so small. Now I think I'll replace a large one we had to take down a few years ago. And, of course, there are many giants to admire in the forests nearby.
     
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  7. Worldly_Wrangler

    Worldly_Wrangler Member

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    @emery , the cultivar in question is ‘Mocha Rose’. Leafs out pink and then turns a mocha color in the summer. This particular cultivar is said to grow much smaller than the species.

    There is also an interesting variegated cultivar ‘Santiam Snows’ though it is estimate to grow quite large. I would love to see one in person.

    Finally there is a yellow leaf cultivar named 'Elynor's Heart of Gold', that is also estimated to grow large.

    I wish it was easier to send scions overseas. I wish all of you could enjoy this majestic species.
     
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  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I am thé decades-old really tall kid who still can’t resist picking up THE biggest fallen big leaf and tucking it in to an outdoor spot

    Remember how we would iron a big leaf between wax paper for a school craft project (usually with the bits of crayons we hadn’t yet eaten :)
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm contributing some close-up colour of a big-leaf maple, Acer macrophyllum, in my neighbourhood. The one outside my building lost almost all its leaves three weeks ago, which had gone straight to brown and weren't colourful at all, but here's one about six blocks away, still with most of its leaves today. The samaras have all gone dark brown (third photo).
    Acer-macrophyllum_RobsonGilford_Cutler_20211019_144528.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_RobsonGilford_Cutler_20211019_144658.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_RobsonGilford_Cutler_20211019_144738.jpg
    Here's a little gallery of pulvini, the joint-like thickenings at the base of the petioles, common in Fabaceae.
    Acer-macrophyllum_RobsonGilford_Cutler_20211019_144802.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_RobsonGilford_Cutler_20211019_144839.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_RobsonGilford_Cutler_20211019_144953.jpg

    The big leaf maples next to the parking lot at the park board building have lost most of their leaves, all the better to see the herons' nests and notice often overlooked details.
    Acer-macrophyllum_Herony-ParkBoardParking_Cutler_20211019_151236.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_Herony-ParkBoardParking_Cutler_20211019_151601.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_Herony-ParkBoardParking_Cutler_20211019_151710.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  11. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Those are beautiful pictures @wcutler. They show no browning around the edges of the leaves and I think that is part of the reason for the brilliant display we're seeing from Big Leaf Maples this year. Driving along the highway this morning, I noticed many trees with browning around the leaf edges and many without . . . other years I remember most would have that browning, even in late summer. And, as you pointed out @Georgia Strait, there seems to be less mildew on Big Leaf Maples this year - the lack of which would also contribute to the intensity of colour.
    Today, I thought it was also interesting that some maples still have mostly green leaves while others have already shed most of theirs so we can enjoy them over several weeks as they say good-bye to 2021 - a good year for them.
     
  12. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    @Margot - i laugh kindly ... your thread has made it really difficult for me to drive attentively — I hadn’t really notice leaves (in autumn denial) til you posted

    and now am like a dog with a fetching stick ! « oh, tree! Oh wow colors! Gee look at Mr Jones garden, gorgeous! Etc »

    Which reminds me, I love seeing big leaf maple leaves floating in the salmon spawning creeks ... I shall have to go and check out some of the creeks near ocean tides on our Salish Sea
     
  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    This is fascinating - being a born raised Pac NW local - I always just thought big leaf Maples are usually what grow naturally

    (And it’s really heavy & dense as firewood )

    The Mocha one is gorgeous

    I wonder where these named trees (variety?) were bred (discovered)
     
  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Such interesting observations @wcutler
    Do you know what the metal wrap is supposed to do? (It’s in your photos above)
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I think it's to keep racoons from climbing the trees and stealing the heron eggs.
     
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  16. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here are several Acer macrophyllum on a block in the West End, planted in 2013, the year after the 'Mikuruma-gaeshi' ornamental cherries with the most beautiful flowers were removed. There isn't any cultivar listed for these on the city's tree list.
    Acer-macrophyllum_PendrellBute_Cutler_20211021_111343.jpg Acer-macrophyllum_PendrellBute_Cutler_20211021_111400.jpg
     
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  17. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Perhaps they are not cultivars . . . just plain old Acer macrophyllum.
     

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