October Glory is a wonderful maple with many advantages, which is the main reason why many people choose it for planting in their yards. But like everything in the world this maple has some disadvantages. In this article, we will look at all the major aspects of this tree.
|Adaptability to all types of soil||Cracking|
|Excellent canopy tree||Winged seeds|
Pro: Amazing foliage
One of the most important advantages for which October Glory is valued is the foliage. The first thing to highlight is the shape of the leaf. The leaf has shallow slits and is divided into lobes with sharp tips, this shape is quite rare compared to other trees.
The second is the color. This maple has bright green foliage early in the season and looks amazing. It can create a great privacy screen because of its thick crown and large size or be a yard decoration.
By midsummer, the foliage turns a little pale, but it doesn’t affect the overall picture. And the most interesting thing begins in the fall when the green leaves turn fiery red. This is the time when this maple brings maximum aesthetic pleasure.
Pro: Adaptability to all types of soil
October Glory, like many similar maples, grows well in most types of soil. This peculiarity makes it very easy to keep. Even when planting, you do not need to improve the soil as this maple can easily penetrate the native soil with its roots.
Here we should mention clay soil as most soils are exactly clay soil. This type of soil is characterized by high density and poor drainability. All this is absolutely not important for October Glory because it has a strong root system and can tolerate a brief waterlogging.
The second aspect is the pH of the soil. October Glory is fine here too as it can thrive in slightly acidic, neutral, and slightly alkaline soils.
The exception is when the soil pH is too high (well over 7.0). In this case, chlorosis can occur. You will have to acidify the soil a little to correct the situation.
October Glory Maple is a very vigorous tree. It grows 2 feet tall and about 1 foot wide per year. As a result, you can get a large tree for your purposes fairly quickly.
At maturity, this variety can reach about 40 feet tall and about 35 feet wide. Over time it will be a big beautiful tree that needs plenty of space though. Plant it no closer than 15 feet from other trees or buildings.
The advantage of this maple is that you do not have to worry about making it grow faster. Once it’s established (1-2 years) the tree will get everything it needs to grow fast on its own. You don’t have to fertilize it or anything like that.
Pro: Excellent canopy tree
If your goal is to get a canopy for shade, October Glory is well suited for this purpose. Even though its growth habit is more upright it can provide plenty of shade.
To expand the crown you should shorten the vertical branches slightly in height at a young age. As a result, it will grow wide. You will also need to remove the bottom tier of branches to make room under the crown.
It is also possible to grow a variety of shade-loving perennials under this tree. The main thing is to plant them no closer than 2 inches to the trunk of the tree and occasionally trim the roots with a shovel.
This tree does fine without watering during long periods of drought. Nothing bad can happen to it because it is able to get water out of the ground at considerable depth.
Even if the October Glory grows in full sun, it will still survive the summer heat and drought easily. You don’t need to mulch the root zone to prevent the soil from drying out.
The only exception to this is for newly planted maples. In the first year or two, the tree needs watering. This is because the root system is not yet developed and the tree needs extra water.
For the first two years after planting, watch the soil around the trunk for moisture. If the soil dries out more than 2 inches, water the tree with 1-2 gallons of water.
Suckers are young growths that appear near or on the trunk. These branches do not do any good, but only deplete the tree and make it ugly in appearance. Suckers are most active when the tree is young but already quite large.
You definitely need to remove the suckers to improve the growth of the tree and free up space around it. This should be done with a sharp tool twice a year. The first time is in early spring and the second time is in late fall.
On the other hand, if you have a lawn under the tree, the mower will remove some of the suckers that grow out of the ground near the trunk along with the grass. In this case, you will only have to cut a few suckers on the trunk.
One of the unfortunate drawbacks of October Glory is cracking. In winter, during a hard frost and snowfall, the wind can break the thick branches of the maple and it will lose part of its crown.
It must be said that this does not happen very often. But you still need to be prepared for such a scenario.
If this happens, the tree in most cases remains alive. It will lose only part of its branches and recover after a while.
You will definitely need to remove all of the deadwood after the cracking. You can use an arborist to do this.
It is also possible to prevent cracking by regularly shortening the branches. This will make them thicker and stronger, but will greatly reduce the size of the tree.
Con: Root system
The next disadvantage is the root system. The roots of this maple are rather shallow and relatively aggressive. This means that it should not be planted too close to the house.
In addition, the roots can even damage the sidewalk. Therefore, there should be at least 10 feet between the trunk of the tree and the sidewalk or road.
As for the lawn or perennials that grow underneath the tree, they need special care. First, they need more frequent watering. They also need extra nutrition.
Second, you need to regularly dig and loosen the soil under the tree. This will cut away some of the roots that interfere with the growth of perennials. This should be done at least once a year.
Con: Winged seeds
Seeds are a disadvantage of most trees, but maple seeds are winged. As a result, the wind carries them over a considerable distance.
In the fall, you need to be prepared to harvest these seeds because they are quite large. Although they can be removed along with the leaves, which will also be a lot.
Next spring, some of the seeds that have not been picked will definitely germinate. They should be removed so as not to litter the lawn or the flower bed.