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Silver Maple

(February 2012)

QuestionI am very interested in planting two types of trees in my yard in Maumelle. I wanted one that produces a brilliant red leaf in the fall and recently bought an October Glory Maple. I want the other one to produce a brilliant yellow leaf in the fall. I’ve done some research on the internet and some that have been mentioned are Ginkgo tree, but I’m not particularly in favor of this one. Others are Golden Sycamore, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, and Sweet Gum. Janet, would your recommendation any one of these, or do you believe another would be a better choice for what I want to accomplish?

AnswerGingko’s have the prettiest yellow fall color, but they can be slow to get established. Once they do, they are great. Tulip poplars have decent yellow fall color, and thornless honey locust trees are a good yellow. I would avoid silver maple, and the sugar maple is not as well adapted in central Arkansas as it is up north. It can have yellow, red or orange fall color. Same with the sweetgums—I see way more orange and red pigmentation than yellow usually. Another option is the yellowwood tree, but it is also a little slow to establish. Choosing a tree for planting in the fall when it has its fall color, can also help you get one that suits your needs, but that would mean waiting another year.

(June 2006)

QuestionI have a raised bed around a silver maple that is so infested with roots that nothing much grows in it. The hostas around the edges are not doing well and there are some ferns in the middle, but it just looks terrible. Any suggestions as to what to plant?

AnswerSilver maples are known for their prolific surface roots. Probably your best bet would be to either plant a vining ground cover underneath to mask the roots or simply put down a layer of heavy mulch--that is better looking than bare soil and exposed roots. The more you try to bring in decent soil, the more prone the roots are to fill it up.

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