Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 06, 2011

From: Westchester, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Is a Brandywine Maple messy from Westchester IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Brandywine Maple: Does this tree produce sap, seeds or flower? As a home owner I can't afford more maintenance with clogged gutters or a sap covered car. Thank you.

ANSWER:

While Acer rubrum (Red maple) is native to North America and to Illinois, 'Brandywine' has been developed as seen in this excerpt from Maple-tree.com:

"Development: 'Brandywine' resulted from a 1982 cross of Acer rubrum 'October Glory' and A. rubrum ' Autumn Flame' by A. M. Townsend as part of a research project examining the inheritance of fall color and leafhopper resistance, and an effort to improve existing cultivars of red maple. Released December, 1994. Significance: 'Brandywine' has a brilliant red-purple autumn color. It produces only male flowers; thus, no fruit or nuisance seedlings. It has a significant level of tolerance to potato leafhopper, better than or comparable to many commercially available red maple cultivars.

Apparently, this tree produces only male flowers, and therefore no fruit or nuisance seedlings. It does, however, produce a lot of leaves in the Fall. It would be nearly impossible to find any tree that would produce no waste products of one kind or another to clog your gutters. As for the sap that rises in the trees; in cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter-the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring.

So, if you don't want litter or sap on your car, better not plant a maple over your car, and we really don't know what to suggest about the gutters. You can make decisions about location of plants and hardscape, but it is well nigh impossible to change the nature of a plant.


 

 

From the Image Gallery


Red maple
Acer rubrum

More Trees Questions

Identification of spiky red berry in Connecticut
September 25, 2011 - I found an odd berry outside of my school, none of the science teachers know what it is though. It kind of looks like a spiked cherry. It has spikes on the outside, a pit on the insde, and has pinkish...
view the full question and answer

Trees for clay soil from Charlotte TX
August 25, 2013 - We have an area in our yard that even Esperanzas won't grow. It is near another that does great. Six Esperanzas are planted in a north/south row about with 10' between plants, the southern most plan...
view the full question and answer

Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
January 31, 2015 - Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Central New Jersey
September 28, 2008 - What trees are native to Central New Jersey? Also, can you give me a website or information on plant life and tree life in Central New Jersey?
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.