There’s still time to celebrate fall color by adding a maple

November is a great time to celebrate fall color— not too late to move a tree or plant a new one.

The second week of November means you may have one last chance to mow and edge the lawn before winter sets in. Don’t mow or walk on your lawn if the soil is soggy and wet, as the weight of your mower and feet can compact the soil and squish out all the air pockets — your lawn will suffer from this next summer. Don’t mow the lawn if the ground is frozen or frosty for the same reason. Take this time to winterize your machines instead. Your reward will be a machine that actually starts when refueled for the spring season.

Autumn is the time to celebrate fall color. It is not too late to visit a nursery and bring home a tree for planting. As long as the ground is not frozen you can move or add trees and shrubs to the landscape. Here are the most popular maples for our area.

‘October Glory’ red maple: The leaves on this maple are held onto the tree later than most other cultivars so it can even be called “November Glory” as the summer’s green leaves turn bright orange then reddish-purple every autumn. Tall and with a rounded form this is a large shade tree so give it plenty of room. This maple grows 40 to 50 feet tall and up to 40 feet wide. Use it to create a big, bold display in a landscape with a lot of space.

‘Red Sunset’ maple: Unlike the first maple mentioned with late fall color, this large maple tree wins the award for early-fall color. Young trees have a tidy pyramidal form but don’t let that fool you into thinking the Sunset maple will stay narrow. It is a moderate grower but eventually will tower over a landscape reaching 40 feet high and almost as wide. The glossy green leaves turn a show-stopping, brilliant orange that will give any landscape a fiery jolt of sunset colors.

If you have the room, plant a variety of maple trees with both early- and late-fall color displays. Not only will you extend the color show but you won’t have all your trees dropping foliage onto the lawn at the same time (Yes, you do have to remove large maple leaves from your lawn).

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple: This is an easy-to-grow Japanese maple that stays small with a slender form. The burgundy-red foliage is attractive in the summer, then turns brilliant scarlet in fall. This maple can take filtered sun and is considered a moderate grower to 15 feet tall and wide. Well suited as a small lawn tree or near a patio or entryway. Now, here is a bit of garden gossip on this one. The small stature and hardy growth is due to the fact that it is a grafted tree so watch for nonconforming sprouts of growth coming from low on the trunk. Cut out these new shoots or, better yet, pull them from the trunk to remove the growth eye. When new growth comes from a grafted plant it can turn into a hostile takeover. Take charge early at the first signs of a revolution.

Waterfall’ Japanese maple:

Bargain hunters may find this attractive specimen tree for sale at the end of the season when box stores and nurseries are forced to discount trees still in stock. The Waterfall maple is another grafted tree so this explains the high price of this slow-growing beauty. It is worth seeking out even if you must wait until spring and pay full price (You can order one now for pick-up in the spring). The Waterfall maple displays dramatic, cascading branches that start green but then turn golden and peach in the fall. Growing only 8 to 10 feet tall, this accent tree will do well in a large container, near a front entry or as a focal point in a fall theme garden. Like all members of the Japanese Maple family (the Acer palmatums are a large and varied group) this small tree will adapt to partial shade.

• • •

Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of “Easy Answers for Great Gardens” and several other books. For book requests or answers to gardening questions, write to her at: P.O. Box 872, Enumclaw, 98022. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a personal reply.

For more gardening information, Binetti can be reached at her Web site, www.binettigarden.com.

Copyright for this column owned by Marianne Binetti.

More in Life

Photo by Haley Ausbun. An annual event, Renton High School students showed off their culture, heritage and interests through the 2020 Renton Multicultural Show, Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at the IKEA Performing Arts Center. The student hosts of the event opened up by saying that Renton High School holds the event each year as a chance to get their one big family into the room together in “reunion.” Performances included the Multicultural Fashion Show, Black Student Union, Latinx Student Union, K-pop and J-pop performances, Filipino Club and many more.
Renton High shows off its culture

Photos by Haley Ausbun. An annual event, Renton High School students showed… Continue reading

February’s Rotary Youth of the Month

Rotary members recognize three Renton School District high school students each month… Continue reading

Courtesy of Armondo Pavone.
“I’m enjoying all of it”

Pavone speaks on his first weeks as mayor

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The International Lion Dance & Martial Arts Team performed in honor of Lunar New Year at the event, Jan. 28 at Renton Technical College 2020 Celebrity Chef event. RTC President Kevin McCarthy and Advanced Sommelier Christopher Chan participated in the demonstration, offering heads of lettuce to the lions. The Lion Dance is meant to bring good luck.
A tasty Lunar New Year

Renton Technical College got a tasty start to the new year with… Continue reading

PHOTO BY HALEY AUSBUN
Tommy the Turtle returns

Historic, interactive art placed at Kennydale Beach

Photo courtesy of Patrick Dodd
                                Patrick Dodd and his father, Stan Dodd, at Hannegan Pass, Cooper Lake Trail. After Stan Dodd died in 2019, Patrick decided to dedicate 2020 to hiking and raising money to Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center.
He lost his dad, now he hikes for him

Local man turns to nature, blogging to fund cancer research

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The new Bickersons Brewhouse opened on Nov. 9. Two months later, Jan. 9, business leaders and the Renton Chamber of Commerce celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting, featuring owners Frank Castro and Shaunn Siekawitch. Go bicker with the “Bickersons” at 4710 NE Fourth St., Renton.
Ribbon cut for new Renton brewhouse

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The… Continue reading

January’s Rotary Youth of the Month

Rotary members recognize three Renton School District high school students each month… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of city of Renton. Future Mayor Armondo Pavone talks to Mayor Denis Law during his final council meeting, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019.
Law looks back on legendary career

Local leaders express warm wishes for Mayor’s retirement

Our top clicked stories of 2019

What were readers interested in most last year?

Renton’s biggest stories of 2019

Election 2019 This year Renton said goodbye to longtime community leaders, as… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of BRAGG Project
                                REACH Center of Hope Volunteer Coordinator Kinza Shafir and BRAGG Founder Ezra Lucien, 9.
For this local kid, Christmas is like running a nonprofit

Nine-year-old Ezra Lucien runs BRAGG project to help other children