lot67

Planting Autumn Blaze Red Maple Tree

lot67
April 21, 2009

Hi everyone..

I just bought my 1st tree! We built a house and moved in 60 days ago. Since we don't have sod yet, I figured this would be the best time to plant trees.

So I decided to buy Autumn Blaze Red Maple from http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/AutumnBlaze.htm

What does everyone think of this website? Does it take a long time to receive your tree, good customer service, etc etc?

Also, they have instructions on how to plant trees, but not very specific. I'm going to local hardware store and what should I be picking up? Soil, Mulch??

Thanks!!

Comments (25)

  • iforgotitsonevermind

    A couple of things.
    For starters, in Ohio there are better maples. If you want a fast growing maple with top performing fall color, go with October Glory or one of the RED maples.

    Autumn Blaze is not RED maple, it is a hybrid between SILVER and RED and it's really not a very good tree IMO aside from the fall color. It also doesn't grow very quickly at all. Medium growth rate at best. And contrary to what it says on their site, they usually have rather poor form.

    Second of all, that site doctors their photos. Rather than showing actual trees, they photoshop them and I don't like dishonesty. In fact dishonesty makes me mad. For the longest time that site had a their "site tested daily" bug on the site but wasn't actually having their site scanned by McAffee or whatever the company was. And they stole an image from someone I know with a tree blog.

    Third of all, they sell junk trees. Paulownia, Pear trees, silver maples. These are junk trees that you don't want.

    Forth of all, after shipping, a 3-4' tree is $71.90 THAT IS A RIP-OFF. You can buy a tree 3 times that size at lowes, in an actual container, with a 1 year warranty from a reputable source for the same price.

    Fifth of all, the Better Business Bureau has processed so many complaints for their company, they have garnered a score of "C-"

    Aren't you glad you asked?

  • jm30

    Hello, congrats on the new house. Yeah, Autumn Blaze Maple is definitely not the greatest of maples; but it's not too bad. Since you've already paid for it, go ahead and plant it. Keep it away from the house, and I would put it in the backyard and find something else with better form for the front areas. Autumn Blaze is a hybrid between Silver and Red maple. Silver maple has numerous problems. But I did have an Autumn Blaze at a previous house, and it grew at a moderate rate and had nice fall color.
    I personally would stay away from online nurseries, especially involving trees. You want to see and feel what you are buying. Plus with shipping the price is a lot more than you'll pay at a nursery. If you need another tree, do your research online, then go to a local nursery and buy.
    You don't need much to plant your new tree. Just a shovel and some mulch. Dig a hole 2-3 times the width of the root ball, but the same depth as the root ball. If the tree is potted, spread the roots out before setting in the hole. Make sure you can see the root "flare" at the bottom of the trunk before you start refilling the hole with dirt. Keep packing the dirt down as you fill it, do work out the air pockets. Put mulch 3-4" deep around the tree, don't let any pile up on the trunk, this can cause damage to the bark and allow insects to start working. Water the tree deeply, and there you go! You don't need any fertilizer, top soil, planting mix or any of that stuff the nursery will try to sell you. Good luck.

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  • Dan _Staley (5b Sunset 2B AHS 7)

    I think Autumn Blaze is pretty good in the background, grouped with other good fall color trees, not the best specimen tree. Not fast growing, either. Not fussy back east. But at least now you know that you should go to a local nursery for your plants.

    Dan

  • arktrees

    I'm surprised about the comments on the growth rate. They grow very fast here. Maybe it's the longer growing season or something along those lines.

    Arktrees

  • Dan _Staley (5b Sunset 2B AHS 7)

    In Sacramento, with a longer growing season than most places, I often planted 'Autumn Blaze' for clients. I learned that the growth rate was not as advertised, but it was still decent and before it became overplanted it was a nice addition to the palette.

    Dan

  • iforgotitsonevermind

    Regarding the growth rate, our community has about 12-20 autumn blaze maples that were planted in early 2003. I don't know what size they were planted but I'm assuming since the countay requires 2" that it was probably 2". They are currently only 3-5". Yes, there is really that much variation. They stand only about 15-20' tall.
    These are all planted in full sun.

    The roots surface roots are rediculous. They extend out about 30' from each tree!

    In fact I have one in my yard that was planted in 2005 by the builder. The tag that was on it said 1.5" and here were are exactly 4 years later and it might be 2". I don't think it's grown more than 3' in height. It's also in full sun and gets mulched. I may remove it due to the surface roots. It's in the middle of my yard and don't want to be tripping on and of those.

  • lot67

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! So I took a hit and lost $10.00 and cancel my order for the Autumn Blaze Maple. I went to Meijer(local grocery store) and found this Red October

    http://i436.photobucket.com/albums/qq89/dknymodel7/IMG00010-20090423-1945.jpg

    What does everyone think of the tree? The nice thing it's only $34.99! Is it ok if the trunk is slightly wavy?

    I'm hoping this will grow faster than other maples...

  • Dan _Staley (5b Sunset 2B AHS 7)

    Trunk's fine on that tree. I wouldn't count on 'October Glory' being faster growing than ABM, but IMHO the form is better and the late color is useful. And if that is a 15-gal can, that's a good price. Anything less and you'll need to take care and work all the roots free, as they could likely be pot-bound. Use your fingers and not a knife and take your time.

    Surface rooting in ABM trees IMHO is likely a function of soil and watering regime (incorrect watering). And the slow growth rate is an indicator of incorrect planting or substandard plant.

    AFAIK the ABM trees I planted do not surface root, but I planted them in well-amended soil and trench for root preference. And AFAIK my clients still follow my instructions for watering lawns: infrequently and deeply.

    Driving home from an Earth Day event the other day, I stopped at a ~4-5 YO ABM tree in an 8' treelawn that is a succession planting, and the tree had decent caliper and no surface rooting.

    Dan

  • iforgotitsonevermind

    The seem to only have surface roots where there is no turf. Eg. landscape beds. Once the turf starts the roots disappear.

    lot67,
    That looks like a nice tree you got.
    Does it say that it is a "Red October"?
    I am unfamiliar with that cultivar but there are countless maple cultivars. The important thing is that it is indeed a red maple (acer rubrum) and that it is planted correctly. It's a shame you had to pay $10 just to cancel your order but if that is any indication of what was to come, I'd say it was the best $10 you ever spent.

  • Iris GW

    It's probably 'October Glory', a very nice Acer rubrum cultivar. Glad you found something local.

  • craigt_pdnt_com

    Everyone has me bummed out on this list (except Dan Staley).

    I just purchased an ABM 3"bb about 18-20' for $170.00 and plan on putting it in out front tomorrow. It has a pretty well defined central leader and pretty straight trunk.

    A couple of people said to not dig the hole 2-3 times larger but rather only a few inches larger the root ball. This will help in windy areas (like in front of my house) to avoid windfall. Also, how much water and how often should be added?

    Any feedback (positive and yes... negative) will be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • shortleaf2002

    Sounds like a good buy for 18 to 20 ft. tall! A tree that size is usually not cheap. Hopefully, the whole thing is gonna live on.
    I'd start out with a small tree myself. I once saw a very large multi-trunked River Birch planted in somebody's yard as a specimen that must've cost somebody a fortune. Unfortunately, only 1 trunk of the "multi-trunk" leafed out. Now that would be a bummer!

  • iforgotitsonevermind

    Not a bad deal at all.

    I would go with the wider planting hole. The wider the better. Are in in some particularly windy place or something? That rootball is going to weigh 300+lbs. That's going to anchor the tree pretty well but if you're concerned you can stake the tree. I'd rather go with a crooked tree for than a girdled perfectly straight tree.

  • telephony

    Yeah... I thought it was a pretty good deal for a large tree. The rootball is 42" and the entire things weighs about 1200 - 1400 lbs. I am digging a hole 48" around and about 2 feet deep (about have way done). What does Dan mean above about trencning for root preferece?

    Regarding water, should I put about 40-50 gallons on initially and about 10-20 every two-three days?

  • iforgotitsonevermind

    Yowza! That's a big rootball for a 3" tree!!!

    I don't know what dan means with the root trenching. Maybe he can explain.

    If you can put a 20 gallon tree gator on it, that will take a lot of the guess work out. You can fill it up every other day and take it off when there's rain. I know not everyone is a fan of those but I've had excellent success rates with them.

  • wingo_43

    Contrary to what another poster wrote here, I have nothing but praise for Advanced Tree Technology. I ordered an Autumn Blaze Maple and an Exclamation London Planetree. Both were carefully packaged, and quite large for the price paid (well over 4'). Both trees leafed out beautifully this Spring and are doing great. There's no way I could have found trees this nice and of this variety at any of the local big box stores (HD, Wally World, Lowe's) and as far as Pike's in Georgia is concerned, they're basically a has-been joke which went into bankruptcy. So I for one am thankful for internet nursery options.

    "Second of all, that site doctors their photos."

    This is an empty argument. How many web sites DON'T doctor their photos?? At least enough to enhance color and contrast. It's standard practice for most. Shabby image, shabby sales. Sharp, colorful image, better sales. That's common sense, not suggestive of anything criminal.

    "Third of all, they sell junk trees. Paulownia, Pear trees, silver maples. These are junk trees that you don't want."

    Either this poster is deliberately going out of their way to smear this company, or they have Advanced Tree Technology confused with someone else. No where in ATT's current catalog or web site will you find either silver maples OR paulownia trees. Check for yourself (see link). Yes, they do sell a hybrid Cleveland Select pear, which is supposed to be an improvement over the old Bradfords. Just because this poster sees it as a 'junk tree' doesn't mean everyone else feels the same way.

    "Forth of all, after shipping, a 3-4' tree is $71.90 THAT IS A RIP-OFF."

    Again, I have no clue where this poster is getting their facts and figures, unless they live in Timbuktu. I live in GA, and still have my receipt. Only $64.50, including S+H, for 2 trees shipped in soft fabric rootbags. I thought it was a pretty good deal, even more so since I'm happy with both trees and they're doing fine. And no, they don't anything like 'junk trees' : ))

    Here is a link that might be useful: Advance Tree Technology

  • wingo_43

    Please disregard my last post, and sincere apologies to the poster (iforgotitsonevermind) mentioned. I somehow confused fast-growing-trees.com with Advanced Tree Technology. My fault entirely. Ever have one of those nights?? I'll go eat a nice big plate of crow now : ((

    BTW, never dealt with fast-growing-trees.com but love ATT. I do think they're a good company.

  • telephony

    ok... I dug a hole 4' around and 2' deep. The tree has been set in the hole and still needs to be backfilled. The top of the rootball is about two or three inches above the ground. Not sure about where the tree flare is, but will check in the morning. I plan on slowly backfilling while adding water to ensure there are no pockets. Once replacing the dirt is complete and adding a four inch high mulch ring, I plan to continue adding water atop the rootball until it is over saturated.

    What I have come up with after reading several websites about watering maintenance is each cubic foot of ground should be fully saturated with one gallon of water. Since my inital hole is about twenty five cubic feet, it would appear that twenty five gallons should do the trick. I see a couple of gadgets that will measure and slowly apply the water, but a couple of five gallon buckets with two 3/32 - 1/8 holes should do nicely. I plan to apply water once a week (depending on weather) for the first couple of years. Sound like a good plan?

  • iforgotitsonevermind

    Wingo, your apology is accepted.
    There are some reputable online nurseries but for every reputable one, there are 10 that suck.

    $64 for TWO trees including shipping is definitely reasonable.

  • cascadians

    Red Maples were suggested for our yard which is a swamp in winter. They like water. We planted 2 little October Glories directly in creeklets. They are thriving. 1st year not much growth, but this year really going.

    Even the 1st year, their fall color was very beautiful and lasted a long time.

    They are spinkler watered every night now that the rain has stopped and it's 90 degrees out for weeks and hot and sunny.

    They are growing in shade now very well. The willows shading them will be cut next January so then they will get a lot more sun. Looking forward to decades of pleasure from these beautiful October Glories.

  • wisconsitom

    Lot 67, comments on AB maples' aesthetic attributes aside, one of the main reasons that trees like this-hybrids between Acer rubrum (Red maple) and Acer sacharinum (Silver maple) were developed was to get a tree with red fall color that is more adaptable to higher pH soils. Pure red maple will not tolerate this condition but the hybrids, known collectively as Freeman maples will. Incidentally, in this part of Wisconsin, silver and red maples have crossbred on their own quite freely.

    Also in this area, Autumn Blaze is definitely a very fast grower. The branching structure is not great if left to develop on their own, but with proper structural pruning in youth, they come along nicely. This could lead to a new thread on "subordination pruning" and other young tree practices...if you like.

    +oM

  • arktrees

    FWIW, I have a Autumn Blaze Maple and an Autumn Fantasy Maple, both of which are Red x Silver Maple Hybrids, and both have grown 2'+ shoots for this year, and are still growing. Can't say how much they will end up growing for the season, but they are definitely growing fast at the moment.

    Arktrees

  • joncush

    Need to take exception to some of the expert opinions regarding Autumn Blaze. I planted 3.5 inch each of Blaze, 3 Sunsets, 1 Trident, 2 Sugars and an October Glory. Next to the Trident, the Blaze is the fastest growing of the bunch. The Blaze is also the brightest Red although it is the first to turn. Two of my Sunsets turned a brilliant red but not as deep as the Blaze and the 2nd Sunset is both red/yellow. My final is the October Glory which is an orange reddish color.

    Overall my Blaze is my favorite tree. It doesn't branch out as much as the others but with a little proper pruning it'll be perfect.

  • musicalperson

    So joncush, You're saying that your trident maple grows the fastest? That doesn't sound quite right to me since trident maples are not rapid growers. When were these trees planted because 3.5" caliper trees can take a few years to become established and the growth rate once established may be different. The october glory may not be established yet.

  • Scoote1019

    Regarding strictly growth speed..I am a nubie but I have spent alot of time researching ABs, OGs, and Red Sunsets in the last several weeks. My goal is to have the beautiful fall color while getting the fastest grower so that I can appreciate a good sized tree before Im in a wheelchair from old age. After speaking with at least a dozen nurserys in the Detroit area I was assured that the Autumn Blaze was the fastest grower by all. I was however told that was with an established tree. If its not rooted fully as the trees around it they may outgrow it initially. Also I dont know if perhaps in other zones they may lose their edge. I am only going off what all the nurserys in my area assured me of..but it seems to be unanimous.

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