A few years ago I found a maple tree on sale at one of our local nurseries. It was only five dollars so I bought it, planted it, and left it alone. It was a ‘Brandywine’ maple tree which is a cross between an ‘October Glory’ and ‘Autumn Flame’. With parents that good it had to be something special!
Almost as soon as I planted it the deer found it. That’s the way it goes around here. Everything must be sampled by the deer. Fortunately the following years it has been left alone to grow. It’s still a small tree but beginning to show off its brilliant fall color potential.
‘Brandywine’ only produces male flowers so you don’t get a whole bunch of samaras (maple seeds) helicoptering through the garden and planting themselves in random garden beds. Personally I wouldn’t mind a few maple offspring to plant in a few places around the yard but it does reduce the workload a little. Now I just have to worry with the black walnut trees the squirrels plant everywhere.
I’ve always been a big fan of maple trees. They are great shade trees and offer spectacular fall color. I do recommend to avoid silver maples since the roots like to remain on the surface of the soil which can make gardening or lawn care difficult. Sugar maples (A. saccharum), red maples (A. rubrum), and Japanese maples (A. palmatum) are my favorites but there are many other great selections available to plant.