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Red Maples

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The University of Georgia publication Pollination: Plants for Year-round Bee Forage begins its list of chronologically arranged pollinator-friendly plants with red maple, Acer rubrum. Red maples have a complicated sex life, some trees have both male and female flowers while others produce only one gender. Although some wind pollination occurs, many native and imported pollinators flock to these showy flowers which can be seen as early as January –      on my drive across the Congaree River on 601, I’m excited to see these signs of spring while we  still feel gripped in winter’s chill. The fact that they are growing in this flood plain is important to remember, maples are the worst possible choice for parking lots and grassy lawns –   they need to be placed in naturalized, mulched areas where they their often raised roots won’t do battle with lawn mowers. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.