Fota Frameyard Blog

Gardening, Nature and Heritage from Fota House

October Glory – Acer rubrum

Leave a comment

The common name for this beautiful maple is apt. Acer rubrum is one of the most widespread trees in eastern North America but this particular young specimen, planted in 2011, is growing at the entrance to FOTA House. It’s living up to its name “October Glory” and stands out among the other trees there, showing off at this time of year.

dx9a0573

Fota Acer rubrum

 

This oval-shaped tree is beautiful all year round, with small red flowers in spring, distinctive leaves, reddish seeds and even red stalks and twigs.

 

1385972885_acer-rubrum-fruit

Acer rubrum seeds (google images)

But it comes into its own now, when it gets its autumn colour branch by branch, some in August, more in September and the rest in October. In this part of the world, depending on its growing condition, it may have more of a pinkish/orange tinge compared to the blaze of red colour in the US. According to http://www.sciencemadesimple.com, ” The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the autumn. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves to turn this glucose into a red colour.”

Most acers like reasonably moist conditions and this helps them hold onto their leaves for longer. They like shelter.

acer-2

October Glory at Fota

They grow to around 50 ft and lives for around 150 years. Apart from forests, it does well in suburban settings, as it’s quite tolerant of pollution, as long as it has enough room for its roots. But its horizontal roots can cause problems with paving nearby.

Given how dry this autumn has been, we’re happy to have our acer still in leaf.

It’s obviously a happy tree.

Advertisements

Author: fotaframeyardblog

We are volunteers who work at Fota House Frameyard in County Cork, Ireland.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s