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September 30, 2015

New Maple Trees | October Glory Maple Trees

This spring, as our home construction was nearing completion, I shared our plan for the landscaping and garden.  We've really enjoyed every step and have done everything ourselves (to this point) for plantings and design.  Here is a post about the design, inspiration and layout I shared in the spring.

You can see that the backyard is fairly open.  While it does feel lush because of the flowering vines and overgrowth on the back fence, we really need some shade on our patio and the back of the house to help with efficiency.

Our plan has been to do things step by step, and to add more each year.  We've accomplished the hydrangea hedge on the left, the peonies on the right, replaced the back fence, planted the cherry tree, the rose garden to the left of the porch, and the hydrangea under the elm tree.  We also added a stepping stone path from the front yard on the left (photos at the end of this house post, here).

The next step for our grand plan was to add the two maple trees in the back yard to help add some shade and some relief to our too open backyard.  We've enjoyed the wide open grass area for running and playing, but know that adding trees will add to the cozy factor of the yard and much needed shade.

We've had a love affair with Maple Trees for a while.  We spent many days admiring them when we lived in New England - on our walks in Concord, Ma., driving to Deerfield, Ma., and (our favorite) trips to Vermont.

Here are some of my favorite New England Fall Folidage posts from the past :

Concord Mass Fall Foliage
Deerfield Mass Village & Homes Tour
Vermont (Lots of posts)
Nantucket Fall Trip
Bedford Post Inn, New York

The decision of what kind of Maple Tree was next.  Because we don't live in Vermont, we wanted to make sure we picked a variety that would thrive here.  Factors I considered :

- Color
- Fast Growing (we desperately need shade!)
- Shape : Oval, but wide spreading.

We considered Celebration Maple, Autumn Blaze & October Glory, as these three had the largest selection available in our area.  For local shoppers, we purchased ours at Suburban Lawn & Garden.

While shopping, I found myself leaning toward the October Glory because it seemed the fullest and healthiest looking.  It sealed the deal when we had a great costumer assistant tell us that he grew up with an October Glory in his backyard.  He says he still remembers how it created the most amazing, warm light in his childhood kitchen in the afternoon.  Sold.

Here is what I learned about October Glories :

"Quality shade trees can take a bit longer to mature than other fast-growing trees, but the October Glory Maple is an exception. This special selection of the native red maple will grow at least three feet a year, so rapidly turns from a young tree into a mature tree in a short time. -

"This Red Maple (Acer rubrum October Glory) is known for its rapid growth and enduring fall color. In fact, its “October Glory” display of orange-red leaves lasts far longer than many other Maples. 
For several weeks you will be treated to one of the most vibrant displays of any tree in your neighborhood. It would look spectacular in your yard as a central focus, or equally at home near other plantings due to its narrow, upward growth.
October Glory is one of the most popular Maples for many reasons.  Tiny spots of fiery red flower clusters appear on the bare branches in the spring while the rest of your yard is still muted in browns and greys. 
The birds will flock to the small, elongated red fruits that accompany the flowers.  Glossy green leaves will appear next, some slightly tinted with a reddish hue.  As summer progresses, your Maple will grow 2 feet or more, achieving an oval-rounded form for optimal shade." -

We planned to purchase substantial size trees to help with shading the back of our house sooner rather than later.  Were were advised to not buy a tree any larger than a 3" diameter - meaning the trunk is 3" in diameter.  This means the tree is about 12-14 years old.  Maple trees grow 2ft taller each year.  Our trees are about 20 ft tall and will grow almost 2 ft every year.   Here they are as they arrived.

We really debated on planting the trees our selves, but decided that we better leave such large trees to a professional.  The delivery fee was about half of the planting fee, so even if we had them deliver it, the savings of digging, removing the dirt, staking and mulching the trees were minimal.  It took them about two hours to complete the job.  I'm pretty sure it would've taken Mike and me an entire weekend and a rented truck.

This is the view from our bathroom upstairs.  They were much bigger trees than I remembered.  I was afraid that when they showed up and where planted that they would seem smaller.

Out of the kitchen window.

I can't wait to watch them change color in the next couple of weeks!

They really make the yard feel cozier and more lush.  Now, I'm off to water them - again : )


  1. I loved this post Jenny! Thank you for sharing the process. Please share pictures when they change colors!

  2. And when they change color, you're going to post pictures for us, right?! ;-)

  3. They look lovely! It's so exciting to get new trees -- any landscaping -- planted. Enjoy.

  4. Beautiful! Isn't it amazing what trees add to a space. We are headed to some nursery's next week to start looking into getting a couple of trees planted. Where did you end up getting them? Hope all is well...


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