'Hot Wings' Tatarian Maple - a Great Small Tree

photo from northscaping.com

HOT WINGS® Tatarian Maple was discovered in Colorado. It appeared as a chance-seedling in the production fields of Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery in 1993. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

This particular tree stood out from all the other Tatarian maples for six weeks every summer with its breath-taking scarlet red samaras that contrasted boldly with the green foliage. It looked like it was in bloom in July. In the spring, clusters of yellow-white flowers covered the tree after the leaves appear. Fall leaf color transformed from orange-red on the outside of the tree to yellow in the middle.

In time, Plant Select® offered to patent it and promote it. It is now readily available in local nurseries.

If you want a small single or multi-stem wide spreading ornamental tree that reaches 18 - 25 feet tall ( with a spread of 20 feet) and offers year round interest, is tolerant of alkaline soils and is cold-hardy then this is the tree for you!

 It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground. It grows at a medium rate and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.
This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is adaptable to both dry and moist locations and is considered to be drought-tolerant. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution. It is great for creating a bushy screen, as an accent or in the shrub border. It is a show stopper.
USDA zones 4-10.


  1. Replies
    1. isn't it? I hope to see more of them around.

  2. THis is great! I am working on an island bed in my front yard and have been weighing all my options for a small tree or shrub! Thanks for sharing this beauty...I'm adding it to my list!

    1. Nicole - I posted your hydrangea photo and a link to your blog on my Facebook Page - Serenity in the Garden Blog - the response has been great!

  3. Replies
    1. I agree! clever. That is what catches our attention first...

  4. Beautiful tree, I need to find a spot for one soon. Thank you for sharing this.

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  6. In behalf of Property design group i really amazed to the plants that used to this garden.Awesome!!!5 Star.

  7. So glad I found your blog. I recently lost my 22 year old cherry tree to a variety of diseases. I planted that tree myself when I first moved into my home, so it meant a lot to me and I was devastated when I learned it was dying. I had no other choice in having it removed.

    I wanted an ornamental tree to replace it, but didn't want another cherry, especially after learning, actual life expectancy of the tree, and they can be prone to disease. While I would have liked a tree that bloomed in the spring, provided great shade in the summer, along with the beautiful fall color, I finally decided upon the hot wings maple.

    It was going to be placed right in my front yard, so I definitely wanted a "statement" tree. A nursery where I live, recommended this Maple, being hardy, plus, actually giving some spring color with the red blossoms, summer shade, and the gorgeous red fall color. I am still sad over my beloved cherry tree, but I'm excited about my new Maple! After reading your article, I'm relived I made the right choice. Thanks for easing my mind.

    1. Dear LB, I am so happy you got one! Cherry trees are special but finicky... This tree is a hardy tree that can be a glorious replacement... just remember that it grows low to the ground so you may consider some groundcover plants like hardy geranium under it so the lawnmower stays away....

  8. Do the red wings hold their red color through fall, or just for about 6 weeks in July? And do the wing make a mess to take clean up after?


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