Georgia homeowners can soon add a bit more of a blaze to the
that sweeps through the state every year. A University
scientist says a new red maple variety will offer
fall color, even in south Georgia.
A new red maple variety called "Somerset" will turn up the
fall color in yards all over Georgia.
"Somerset is a cross between October Glory, which does well
and Autumn Flame," said John Ruter, a horticulturist at the
campus of the UGA College of
and Environmental Sciences.
"This tree gives us a deeper, I'd say more of a purplish fall
almost magenta as opposed to the more intense red usually seen
in an October
Glory," Ruter said.
He also likes the unusual silvery leaf backs in
the wind blows and the silvery-back leaves flutter around, it's
effect, he said.
NEW RED MAPLE
UP THE HEAT in Georgia landscapes, said John Ruter, in
photo, a horticulturist
with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental
will be a rich deep purple that will be great in yards all over
Ruter said. He expects Somerset to be available in nurseries in
courtesy the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental
Ruter has tested this new tree all over the state.
it grows well, resists disease and has
Most of the 55 tree varieties available at nurseries come
or farther north. Many of
these varieties may not be well-suited to Georgia's heat and
"There are trees out there," he said. "It's just a matter of
the ones that are right for
Georgia, particularly south Georgia."
The National Arboretum
released Somerset in 1996, so Ruter said it may still be hard to
good-sized tree will take at least three years to produce,
be on the market shortly," he
Choosing a tree variety well-suited to your area can be a
decision for the tree. Ill-
adapted varieties are susceptible to diseases, including
tar spot and stem cancers, and
grow slowly if they survive.
"The growth rate can be almost doubled by selecting a local
Your county extension office has more information about
and taking care of
trees in your landscape.