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Hot Wings Maple Multi Stem
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“Christmas in July” is how one worker at the nursery where Hot Wings® Tatarian Maple was discovered describes this festive new ornamental tree. Indeed, Hot Wings’® colorful summer samaras (helicopters)—as red as Holly berries and glowing brilliantly against the rich green canopy—will put you in a jolly mood. The papery red fruits will make an impact in your landscape for six weeks, but don’t think that the festivities stop there. In fall, the foliage erupts in a blaze of orange-red, with a sprinkling of golden leaves in the interior. Hot Wings® Tatarian Maple’s bushy habit makes it an effective but friendly screen from your neighbors, and its medium-small size makes it useful for properties both large and small.
- Hardiness Zone: 3
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Tatarian Maple hails from eastern Europe and western Asia in countries such as Kazakhstan, where it is found on rocky, exposed sites and in forest understories. This rugged Maple Tree is a favorite ornamental plant in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states for its junkyard-dog toughness as much as for the beauty it brings to challenging environments. Hot Wings® Tatarian Maple originated at the nursery of Gary Epstein in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1993. The chance seedling stood out from other Tatarian Maples for its extra-long display of ruby-red samaras, its wide branch angles (which help prevent breakage in storms), and its consistently fiery fall color.
Hot Wings® Tatarian Maple has earned the stamp of approval from the Plant Select® program, an award that goes to superlative plants with both beauty and brawn. Plant Select® is a nonprofit group that gets input from Colorado State University, the Denver Botanic Garden, and other horticulture professionals. Winning plants have to score well on seven criteria: ability to thrive in a wide range of conditions, low water needs, resilience in challenging climates, uniqueness, disease and insect resistance, long-lasting beauty, and non-invasiveness. Basically, if it can handle the cold, drought, wind, snow, ice, and hail of a typical Colorado year—and still look good—it’s in!
How to Grow
Hot Wings® Tatarian Maple is an unfussy tree that even novice gardeners will have great success with. Give it a site in all-day sun for the richest red fall color, and make sure the soil drains freely, as it doesn’t care for “wet feet.” Hot Wings® will need regular water during establishment, but after the first year or two it should be quite drought tolerant. This low-maintenance tree will put no strain on your busy schedule—in time, it will form a dense, rounded canopy with very little pruning necessary, and insect pests and diseases are generally of no concern.
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