A NORWAY MAPLE
whose leaves are dark, glistening crimson throughout
the spring and summer is horticultural news that
opens all manner of opportunities for new landscaping
effects. The form known as Schwedler maple has
made an effort toward this rewarding goal, but
its red changes to green with the arrival of summer.
Finally, along comes the postwar variety Crimson
King, which really fills the bill. As a result
it is making headlines such as no other new tree
has achieved in years.
Crimson King, whose full official
name is Acer platanoides Schwedleri nigra,
is a true Norway in form, hardiness and ease
of culture, All it needs to develop its full beauty
is reasonably good soil and drainage, sunlight,
and ample space to grow tall and broad. The shade
it casts during the warm months is deep and refreshing,
while proper shaping during its nursery years
practically guarantees that no branch will be
low enough to get in anyone's way. As for possible
trouble with plant insect pests or diseases-well,
there is no more reason to anticipate it than
with any other form of Norway.So much for practical
considerations. Now let's look at some of the
ways of utilizing Crimson King's unusual display
assets to best advantage.
Dogmatic, take-it-or-else rules
for home-grounds landscaping can be tricky business,
for the simple reason that there are always some
properties which nullify them by unalterable peculiarities
of size, topography, surroundings or perhaps the
location or architectural style of the house itself.
As a general principle, however, it is well to
remember that any sizable tree of exceptionally
striking color can easily be given too great prominence,
with the result that it ruins the harmony of the
rest of the landscaping and actually dominates
the whole place. A rather frequent example of
such an occurrence is that single big blue spruce
growing in the middle of a small front lawn and
fairly shouting at every passerby.
So, on the majority of home properties, Crimson
King finds its most appropriate location in the
neighborhood of one of the side boundary lines
or perhaps toward the rear where it can be only
partially seen from the street. Often it can be
used with excellent effect to fill in a boundary
corner, either alone or with an underplanting
of evergreen shrubs such as white rhododendrons,
Mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia) or drooping
leucothoe (Leucothoe Catesbaei). Sometimes,
too, it can be placed with complete success close
to one end of a rear terrace over which it will
cast a welcome shade on hot summer afternoons.
In all cases it is well to consider the flower
colors of other nearby plantings with a view to
avoiding possible clashes of hues between the
maple's leaves 'and their near neighbors.
On large or markedly irregular
properties Crimson King can frequently serve as
a splendid accent against a background of other
good-sized trees, either deciduous or evergreen.
Do not plant it among them unless they
are very widely spaced, for that could easily
lead to eventual crowding of a star performer
that certainly deserves all the growing room it
wants. The ideal spot is likely to be far enough
in front of the existing trees to create a rather
prominent bulge in their general line. Or perhaps
there is a deep, open bay among them at the rear
of which your maple can be placed with splendid
The old advice to buy your trees
from a reliable well-established nursery is particularly
pertinent to this comparative newcomer with the
dark red leaves. Among other advantages, such
procedure will insure your getting a genuine Crimson
King and one that has been properly grown and
pruned to develop a symmetrical specimen form.
Also such nurseries, if not too far distant, are
equipped to do a proper "balled-and-burlapped"
transplanting job for you-always an important