July 19, 2016 0

Trees of Colorado: The Hot Wings Maple

If you’re looking for a small, showy, and rugged tree for Colorado’s extreme climates, look no farther than the Hot Wings Tatarian Maple. First cultivated by the Tatars of Russia and western Asia for windbreaks and shelter, it came to the U.S. with early immigrants from that area and has naturalized in parts of eastern North America.

Low Temperature Tolerant, Petite and Colorful

As you might expect from its heritage, the Hot Wings Maple is tolerant of very low temperatures (down to -40° F) and alkaline soils and grows well at altitudes up to 7,000 feet.

Considered a small tree, the Hot Wings Maple tops out at around 35 feet, but can be as short as 15. Its slender branches tend to be wider than tall in young trees, eventually growing to a more rounded shape as it matures.

The leaves are broad with 3-5 lobes in the familiar maple shape, matte green in summer and turning a brilliant yellow to reddish orange in fall. The small greenish white spring flowers bear showy purplish-red seed pods late in the summer and early fall as the classic two-winged “helicopters” characteristic of maples.

Those brightly colored seed pods are what gives this species its nickname: Hot Wings. A compact, showy tree, the Hot Wings makes a great specimen planting in a lawn, but its compactness also makes it an excellent shade or windscreen tree. Planted on the sunny side of a lot, its dense leaves filter the hot summer sun and drop for winter to let the sun shine through.

Plant and Maintain Your Hot Wings Maple Tree

If you’re considering adding a Hot Wings Maple to your landscape, or have one that needs maintenance, give Donovan Arborists a call. We service the entire Front Range in all seasons and work with residential, commercial and HOA properties. Call us today at 303-623-8733!

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