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More on Colorful Maples

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Chalk maple, Acer leucoderme, is a smaller maple native to the south east which has chalky white bark and is known for consistent good fall color. This is a smaller tree, about 25 feet tall, and is usually multi-trunked unless pruned to a central leader. The leaves tend to hang on in winter which can make for a shaggy appearance. Another tree recent Making It Grow panelists Davis Sanders and Paul Thompson highlighted was the Florida maple, Acer saccharum variety floridum, which again thrives in its native southeastern US range and give us colorful leaves in the fall. In the south maples of many species are best grown with afternoon shade and in large mulched areas rather than open lawns. They tend to have above-ground roots that cause problems with lawn mowers and don’t like competing with turfgrass for moisture.

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.