Legends of the Fall

October 12, 2013

Dudley Wooten

Outdoors Columnist

Let’s talk about the legends of the fall, both past and present. The multitude of information will be about landscaping, but we will intersperse some “yogi-isms,” also. This is another fall classic.

Yogi Berra appeared in 21 fall classics as a New York Yankee. He was either a catcher, coach, or manager. He played in World Series for 5 decades (1947-1981.) Yogi was not just a hall of fame catcher; he was, maybe, the most loveable legend in baseball. He was a classic bad-ball hitter, never struck out more than 38 times in a season, and rarely missed a day behind the plate. His dad came here as an Italian immigrant with Joe Garagiola’s dad in the early twentieth century. Casey Stengel once said of Yogi’s luck that he could fall into a sewer and come out wearing a gold watch. This “luck” was the result of much hard work and work habits. Some of the most classic Yogi memories are his sayings like,” Catchers are like barbers – they’re always talking.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, let’s talk fall color. Nothing would be more classic fall color than maples. No matter if you’re in Vermont or in Scioto County, you can certainly appreciate the fall splendor of maples. In nature, sugar maples will offer red, orange, or yellow fall color, while red maples will be red, and silver maples will be yellow or brown in autumn.

When buying landscape maples, you would look for a mature size, fall color, shape, and growth rate. People buy maples for shade and fall color. The red maples are the best of both worlds by having brilliant red/orange fall color and fast growth rate. Some classic varieties are Red Sunset, Sun Valley, and Autumn Reliance. Henry Ford’s model “A” came in any shade of black and red maples come in any shade of red.

Sugar maples offer red, yellow, or orange, but are slower growers. Classic sugar maples, would include – Commemoration, Green Mountain, Legacy, and Majesty.

The only reason to use a silver maple would be to use one of it’s hybrids. These are trees that have been “hybridized” or crossed between red maple and silver maple. They are cultivars that bear the name “freemani” and exhibit the best traits of the red and silver maples . They would have exceptional red/orange fall color and exceptional growth rate. They would have strong branching and deeper roots like the red maple. They would include –Autumn Blaze, Autumn Fantasy, Celebration, Marmo, and Sienna. What would Yogi say about all of these decisions? “When you come to a fork in the road-take it.”

Japanese maples are not known for shade, but they are great for fall color. They are available in red or green, and standard or cut leaf varieties. They are typically red in summer and orange in the fall. There are hundreds of names on today’s market, but some classics would be – Blood Good, Crimson Queen, Garnet, Red Select, Tamukeyama, and Verdis.

These are outstanding fall items and as Yogi would say- “You can observe a lot by watching,” “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore,” “It gets late early out here,” “It ain’t over till it’s over,” and “I always thought that record would stand until it was broken,” “This game is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical,” and “Nobody goes there because it’s too crowded.”

Yogi claims that he “Never said everything he said,” He will always be a legend on and off the field and a true fall classic. “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Dudley Wooten can be reached at 740-820-8210 or by visiting wootenslandscaping.com