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Tatarian Maple Trees Add Vibrant Fall Color To North Dakota Landscapes


When the first colors of autumn begin to show they are brilliant and the seed pods of Hot Wings® tatarian maple are blazing.

Selecting trees for fall color is a challenge for us in North Dakota. The finest trees in autumn, including most maples, struggle here. Our soils are too dry and alkaline.

Tatarian maple is an exception.  It tolerates even our harsh soils and is hardy throughout the state.

Its seed pods (samaras) appear as fiery red wings. These wings contrast beautifully against the deep green foliage. Magnificent!

Tatarian maple red seed pods with an inset photo of the full tatarian maple tree
Tatarian maple seedpods and tree .

Tatarian maple is a small tree, growing only about 20 feet tall and wide. Its upright, spreading habit makes it an outstanding accent tree in small yards. Hot Wings® is a selection of tatarian maple noted for its radiant seed pods, vivid fall color, and strong tree structure.

If you love maples, get an analysis of your soil. If your pH is acidic to near neutral (approx. 7.2 or below), you can grow the superstars of autumn: red and sugar maples.

Superior red maples include Northfire® and ‘Northwood’. Fall Fiesta® and Northern Flare® are great sugar maples admired for their gold and orange colors. Autumn Blaze® has red maple heritage and is the leading Freeman maple.

For more information, watch the presentation on Hardy Maples for North Dakota Landscapes by NDSU Woody Plants Researcher Greg Morgenson. 

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Article was originally published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report