No red leaves in the fall with Autumn Blaze tree

Asked October 21, 2016, 4:16 PM EDT

Hello--I live in northern Indiana and I planted an Autumn Blaze maple about 3 years ago. So far it seems to be growing fine except it has yet to turn the fiery red I was hoping for. The leaves are still green in October as they have been for 3 years. It does have the tar spots on the leaves. Why is my Autumn Blaze not blazing?

St. Joseph County Indiana

2 Responses

Tar spot can sometimes cause some early defoliation, but I've never heard of a case where this or any other disease prevents fall color altogether.

Is this tree planted in full sun? It's possible that shade could affect the production of the brilliant reds this species is famous for.

Are you fertilizing near the tree in late summer or fall? Nitrogen might possibly keep the tree in growth mode, instead of allowing it undergo the dormancy process (which includes developing fall color).

Other than these suggestions, I have no other ideas to offer.

I am baffled as well. It is planted in full sun and I have not fertilized that area since early spring. But as I mentioned, it has not shown the red foliage ever after 3 years of being planted. Very disappointing!