If you love maple trees -- and who doesn't? -- and you want brilliant autumn color in a narrow space, the Bowhall Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is a good choice. This rapid growing deciduous tree will reach 45 feet high with a typical spread of 15 to 20 feet. Native to North America, this wonderful tree grows into a well-formed columnar shape which makes it a good choice for street side plantings and other narrow spaces. It tolerates urban pollution and is hardy to -25 degrees. The Bowhall transplants easily when young and accepts a variety of soil types, from sand to clay. It will tolerate intermittent drought and also takes well to occasional flooding. It prefers full sun, but will accept a little shade. Resistant to deer, disease, and desert headwinds, the Bowhall is a good sport all around.
The tree sends out small red flowers (pictured) in April and May, then covers itself with the recognizable dark green, triangular 3 inch wide, 5 pointed leaves in summer. In early autumn, the tree makes a complete spectacle of itself with leaves turning usually from green to yellow-green to yellow, then to yellow-orange and then to bright red. Its tendency toward flashy exhibitionism can fluctuate in intensity from year to year depending on the weather and other subtle conditions, but even its less spectacular years are noteworthy. Stems and trunk are a dreamy silver gray.
Providing shade, stunning color and eye-catching vertical accent to almost any landscape, the Bowhall Maple is a tree to hug and fall in love with.