Silver Maple Volunteer Seeding Gains Five Feet of New Growth This Summer - August 2023

We might have a problem in the garden.  Or, we might have something else totally.  I'm talking about the volunteer Silver Maple tree that popped up last season and one that I have left alone all this year.  Has it grown?  Yeah.  It.has.grown.  A LOT.

I last posted about this tree in mid-July (about 50 days ago) and it has not slowed down since then.  I mentioned in that post that I was guessing it had put on 3' of new growth this year.  Now?  I'd say it is more like five feet of new growth.  It is every bit as tall as the Exclamation London Planetrees that sit by the fence.  Below, is a look at the current state of this (questionable-in-value) tree that is in our south beds:

I didn't plan for this tree.  And...I've read all about the merits of Silver Maples.  Naturalist Donald Peattie wrote an length about the Silver Maple and called it a paradox. Both the pros - fast-growing, beautiful crowns and ability to grow in hard-to-grow spots and their cons - it gets B I G, throws off a lot of helicopters (litter) and is brittle - are well known.  

I've opted to leave this tree go.  And, I keep adding 'for now'.  

Will that 'for now' last 'forever'?  I'm not sure.  But, the tree can always COME DOWN.  It can't go back up as easily.

The other way that I could go with this tree is to think about training it - pleaching it?  espalier?  Making a shape out of it in some way?  

That was my intention with the London Planetrees - create an upright hedge via a pleach.

The decision will come down to:  do we want a large, shade tree in this spot?  Or, something small, trained and (potentially) visually interesting. 


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