Choosing the Perfect Maple: 5 of Our Favorite Varieties for Your Colorado Garden

Adding a tree to your landscape can bring years of enjoyment throughout every season, but there’s something extra special about a maple tree in the autumn. Their vibrant colors are part of what makes the season so very beautiful.

There’s no shortage of choices among this popular type of tree. Over 130 different types of maple trees can be found within the Acer plant genus, which are further divided into eleven different varieties. A walk through our nursery will provide you with plenty of choices among these popular trees, and it can be downright difficult to choose.

Each type of maple tree offers its own unique charm and benefits. Let’s explore five of the most popular varieties: the Autumn Blaze Maple, Redpointe Maple, Armstrong Gold Maple, Crimson Sunset Maple, and Sensation Maple, and discover why each would be an excellent choice for your landscape.

Autumn Blaze Maple
(Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’)

Bringing the Fiery Beauty of Fall to Your Garden

The Autumn Blaze Maple is a tried-and-true favorite among Colorado gardeners, and for good reason. This hybrid variety, a cross between the silver maple and red maple, is renowned for its breathtaking display of fiery autumnal colors. Its leaves transition from vibrant green in spring to a blazing spectrum of red, orange, and yellow come fall. With its upright, oval shape and rapid growth rate, it can reach a height of 50 feet or more, making it a majestic addition to any landscape.

Colorado’s fluctuating climate can be a challenge, but the Autumn Blaze is well-suited to withstand the state’s diverse weather conditions. It’s adaptable to different soil types and is relatively pest and disease-resistant. This maple’s hardiness and stunning seasonal show make it an excellent choice for Colorado gardeners looking to add a touch of autumnal brilliance to their outdoor space.

Redpointe Maple
(Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’)

The Epitome of Elegance and Durability

If you’re seeking a maple tree that embodies both elegance and resilience, the Redpointe Maple should be at the top of your list. This cultivar of the native red maple is celebrated for its refined appearance and adaptability. Its glossy, dark green leaves turn a vibrant red in the fall, creating a stunning contrast against its gray bark.

One of the key advantages of the Redpointe Maple is its ability to thrive in a variety of soil conditions, including the alkaline soils often found in Colorado. It also displays excellent resistance to pests and diseases. With its moderate growth rate and mature height of 40 to 50 feet, this maple offers a perfect balance between manageable size and striking presence. For Colorado gardeners wanting both a versatile and visually striking addition to their landscape, the Redpointe Maple is a standout choice.

Armstrong Gold Maple
(Acer platanoides ‘JFS-KW202’)

Vertical Elegance and Dazzling Foliage

The Armstrong Gold Maple is a cultivar of the Norway Maple, known for its elegant, upright growth habit and brilliant golden-yellow leaves. This slender tree reaches heights of 30 to 40 feet, making it an excellent choice for smaller gardens or spaces where vertical emphasis is desired. Its compact size also makes it a fantastic option for urban and suburban environments.

In Colorado, where space can sometimes be limited, the Armstrong Gold shines as a space-saving yet impactful choice. It’s also well-suited to various soil types and exhibits strong resistance to pests and diseases. The striking gold foliage persists throughout the growing season, adding a touch of radiance to your landscape. For Colorado gardeners who would like a vertical focal point with year-round visual interest, the Armstrong Gold is a stellar pick.

Crimson Sunset Maple
(Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘JFS-KW202’)

An Invigorating Burst of Crimson All Year Round

The Crimson Sunset Maple is a captivating hybrid maple that brings a burst of deep crimson to your garden throughout the entire year. Its distinctive, maroon-red leaves maintain their rich color from spring through fall, providing a consistent display of beauty. This cultivar is known for its rapid growth and ability to adapt to various soil conditions.

At a mature height of 30 to 40 feet, the Crimson Sunset is well-suited to a wide range of landscape designs. Its dense, rounded canopy provides ample shade, making it a welcome addition to outdoor spaces where relief from the sun is desired. With its striking foliage and adaptable nature, this maple is an excellent choice for Colorado gardeners who are looking for a reliable, year-round burst of deep-crimson color in their garden.

Sensation Maple
(Acer platanoides ‘Sensation’)

Delight in the Symphony of Foliage

The Sensation Maple, a cultivar of the Norway Maple, is aptly named for the symphony of colors it brings to your garden. In spring, its leaves unfurl in shades of pink, cream, and green, creating a visually captivating display. As the seasons progress, the foliage transitions to a stunning variegation of white and green in summer, and finally into an outstanding display of brilliant red autumn foliage, providing year-round interest.

This maple’s adaptability to various soil types, coupled with its resistance to pests and diseases, makes it a reliable choice for Colorado gardeners. With a mature height of 30 to 40 feet, the Sensation is well-suited to both large and small landscapes. Its unique and ever-changing foliage ensures that there’s always something exciting happening in your garden.

In the vibrant tapestry of Colorado’s diverse landscapes, these five maple trees each bring their own unique personality and benefits. Whether you’re looking for the fiery hues of the Autumn Blaze, the refined elegance of the Redpointe, the vertical grace of the Armstrong Gold, the year-round deep burgundy of the Crimson Sunset, or the ever-changing foliage of the Sensation, there’s a maple tree that will be perfectly at home in your garden.

If you just can’t decide, come in and talk to one of our certified nursery professionals! They’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and help you choose one of these remarkable maples for your landscape.

Autumn Lawn Care

Autumn is your lawn’s favorite time of year! It’s the best time to treat your turf to a little extra maintenance, that will ensure a thick, green, healthy lawn next spring!

Remove the Leaves
Leave the leaves” may be an excellent idea for your perennial beds and the ecosystem in general, but not for your lawn! Leaves block light and trap moisture. Those soggy mats of leaves on your turf can lead to disease problems. So as leaves fall, rake them from lawns and add them to the compost bin or shred them and dig directly into your vegetable garden.

Aerate to Loosen the Soil
Regular aeration prevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with a layer of thatch. Thatch blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil. It’s a good idea to aerate your lawn BEFORE FERTILIZING, so the fertilizer will be able to reach the roots.

Apply Winter Fertilizer
Green Thumb Winterizer should be applied in mid October. This slow-release fertilizer will feed continuously for the next sixteen weeks, giving grass roots plant sugars to protect roots from freezing over the winter, and enough energy to bounce back in the spring.

Get Rid of the Weeds
In the autumn, weeds prepare for winter by sending energy and nutrients into their roots. It’s a good time to apply Weed Free Zone to kill these invasive weeds, roots and all. Make sure to remove weeds before they go to seed for the season, or you’ll see them again in the spring!

Grub Control
No, the Japanese Beetles haven’t gone away — they’ve burrowed into your turf for the winter! Early Autumn is the prime time to apply a grub control before the weather turns colder and they burrow deeper. GrubGONE! is a bio-insecticide that is effective at controlling turf grubs without side effects of off-target damage to beneficial insects.

Continue Watering
Continue to water as long as the temperatures remain above freezing, and always be sure to give your lawn a good watering before you drain your sprinkler systems for the year. While it’s true there is less evaporation at this time of year, natural moisture may not be enough to keep the grass roots hydrated and healthy going into the winter. Make sure your lawn continues to receive at least an inch of water a week.

Keep mowing
Grass will continue to grow up until the first hard frost. If you put the mower away too soon and allow the grass to become too long, it will mat, which can make it susceptible to fungi like snow mold. In the autumn, aim to maintain an ideal height of 2 ½”-3.” This is long enough to protect the root system over the winter, but not long enough to encourage disease. Regular mowing is also an easy way to chop up those fallen leaves for a natural, soil-enhancing mulch.

Reseed and Repair
The cooler temperatures of autumn make it an ideal time to thicken up existing turf. The soil is still warm, moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly, nights are cooler, and the sun isn’t as hot during the day. This allows grass to grow more rapidly and gives it a chance to establish before cold weather arrives.

The 5 Best Shrubs for Fall Color

Nothing brings the magic of autumn to life like the brilliant reds and oranges of leaves in the landscape. It’s what everyone eagerly waits for each year. It’s easy to bring a little of that autumn magic home with the right shrub! Check out these five easy-to-grow stunners that all perform well in Colorado gardens.

Euonymus Alatus Compacta
Zone 4 / Elevation to 7500 ft.
Mature size: 6′-8′ high & wide

The best of the best in fall color! Introduced to the United States in 1860, this striking shrub quickly became popular for its fiery scarlet foliage throughout the autumn season. It has a natural, open form that shows well in borders, beds, and foundation plantings. Stunning when used as a specimen planting, screen, or hedge. This one will create a statement wherever you plant it! It’s low maintenance and exceptionally easy to grow. Will grow best in full to part sun (at least 4-6 hrs. of full sun per day). It’s adaptable to moist or dry soil, and easily pruned for shape when needed.

Aronia Melanocarpa “Viking”
Zone 3 / Elevation to 8000 ft.
Mature size: 6′-7′ high / 3′-5′ wide

Glorious red-orange foliage in the autumn is accented by an abundance of glossy, black berries! This low-maintenance shrub doesn’t require a lot of attention and boasts the added benefit of being exceptionally pest and disease resistant. Berries are high in flavinoids and antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. Good for juice, jelly, and jams. Grows best in full sun — that’s at least six hours of direct sun per day. With this shrub, you’ll have the most striking autumn color in the neighborhood, as well as the best tasting homemade preserves and desserts!

Viburnum Dentatum
Zone 4 / Elevation to 7,000 ft.
Mature size: 10′ high / 8′-10′ wide

This beauty has an upright-oval habit with an impressive kaleidoscope of yellow, orange, red, and burgundy fall color. Ornamental (non-edible) blue-black berries accent the bright colors nicely. This low-maintenance deciduous shrub exhibits an excellent adaptability to a broad spectrum of soil types. Beautiful used as a border, tall hedge, or background planting.

Cotoneaster Divaricatus
Zone 2 / Elevation to 8,500 ft.
Mature size: 4′-6′ high / 6′-8′ wide

This graceful shrub features arching branches that provide gorgeous autumn color ranging from orange to red to purple. Dark red berries dot the branches and persist into winter. Its informal shape creates a beautiful accent as a hedge, border, or foundation planting. It adapts well to most soil conditions and tolerates wind well. Grows best in full sun to part sun.

Physocarpus Opulifollus
Zone 3 / Elevation to 8,000 ft.
Mature size: 5′-6′ high / 4′ wide

A standout variety in the garden, with dramatic foliage color throughout the year! It’s colorful foliage emerges as orange, yellow and red, progresses to green, then deepens into amazing harvest tones of reds and purples in the autumn. Multi-lobed, textured edges contribute to the dramatic look and feel of the leaves. In winter, the older stems have that classic Ninebark peeling bark for added textural interest. This is a great choice to create a focal point in your landscape or grow it as a hedge or foundation planting. Grows best in full sun for optimum leaf color.

If you’re not quite sure what would work best in your home landscape, stop by and talk to one of our nursery experts. They’ll help you plant a little autumn magic that you’ll enjoy for years to come.