Landscaping enthusiasts and homeowners alike are always on the lookout for beautiful, low-maintenance trees to enhance their properties. One such popular choice is the Autumn Blaze Maple, a hybrid maple tree known for its stunning fall colors and fast growth. In this guide, we'll dive into the history, characteristics, planting, and care tips for the Autumn Blaze Maple, as well as its benefits and common issues.
History of the Autumn Blaze Maple
The Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer × freemanii 'Jeffersred') is a hybrid of the silver maple (Acer saccharinum) and the red maple (Acer rubrum). This crossbreeding has resulted in a tree that combines the best features of both parent species, such as the fast growth rate of the silver maple and the brilliant fall color of the red maple.
Characteristics of the Autumn Blaze Maple
The Autumn Blaze Maple's most striking feature is its foliage, which boasts a brilliant blend of orange and red hues in the fall. The leaves are medium to dark green throughout the spring and summer, providing a beautiful contrast to the vibrant autumn colors.
Size and growth rate
Autumn Blaze Maples are fast-growing trees, capable of reaching heights of 40-50 feet and a spread of 30-40 feet. They can grow up to 3 feet per year, making them a popular choice for homeowners seeking a quick addition of shade and beauty to their landscapes.
These trees are known for their adaptability and hardiness, thriving in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-8. They prefer slightly acidic soils but will tolerate alkaline soils for several years- see Care Instructions.
Planting the Autumn Blaze Maple
Selecting a site
Choose a location with full sun to partial shade for your Autumn Blaze Maple. Ensure the site has enough space for the tree's mature size, and avoid planting near structures or power lines.
Although Autumn Blaze Maples tolerate various soil types, they prefer well-draining soil. Amend heavy clay or sandy soils with organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, to improve drainage and fertility.
- Dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball of your tree.
- Place the tree in the hole, ensuring the root flare is level with the surrounding soil.
- Backfill the hole with the amended soil, gently tamping it down to remove air pockets.
- Water the tree thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.
- Mulch around the base of the tree, leaving a few inches of space between the mulch and the trunk to prevent rot and pests.
Caring for Your Autumn Blaze Maple
Newly planted Autumn Blaze Maples require consistent watering, with about an inch of water per week. As the tree establishes itself, you can gradually decrease the frequency of watering. Mature trees are relatively drought-tolerant, but it's best to provide supplemental water during extended dry periods.
Fertilize your Autumn Blaze Maple with a slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring, following the manufacturer's instructions. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as excessive nitrogen can lead to weak, fast-growing branches that are susceptible to breakage.
Prune your tree during its dormancy in late winter or early spring, removing any dead, damaged, or crossing branches. This helps maintain the tree's overall health and appearance. Regular pruning also promotes a strong, well-balanced structure that can withstand storms and high winds.
Pest and disease control
Autumn Blaze Maples are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, monitor your tree for potential issues such as aphids, scale insects, or verticillium wilt, and address any problems promptly with appropriate treatments.
The Autumn Blaze is susceptible to Chlorosis in high PH soils- this is essentially iron deficiency in trees. Acidic soils allow the Maple to absorb iron normally, but Alkaline soil does not have the same effect on the iron in the soil. When the tree is in soil with a PH that is too high, the iron cannot be absorbed by the roots and the tree leaves begin to yellow. In Colorado this happens after about 3-5 years, but can be easily treated with commercially available chelated iron.
Benefits of Planting an Autumn Blaze Maple
Autumn Blaze Maples are prized for their vibrant fall colors, which make a stunning addition to any landscape. The contrast between the green summer foliage and the fiery autumn hues creates a visually striking display.
Shade and windbreak
Thanks to their size and dense canopy, Autumn Blaze Maples provide ample shade during hot summer months. Additionally, they can act as windbreaks, reducing wind speed and providing shelter for your home and garden.
Like all trees, Autumn Blaze Maples contribute to cleaner air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They also help reduce soil erosion and provide habitat for various bird species.
Common Issues with Autumn Blaze Maples
Some potential issues to watch for include:
Surface roots: As the tree grows, its shallow root system may become more visible, potentially causing issues with mowing or other landscape maintenance tasks.
Weak branch unions: Fast-growing trees like the Autumn Blaze Maple can sometimes develop weak branch unions, increasing the risk of branch breakage in storms or high winds.
The Autumn Blaze Maple is a fantastic choice for homeowners and landscapers seeking a stunning, low-maintenance tree that provides beauty, shade, and environmental benefits. By following the planting and care tips outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a thriving Autumn Blaze Maple in your landscape for years to come.
Why Arbor Valley Nursery is the Top Choice for Landscapers to Buy Autumn Blaze Maples
Expert Knowledge and Advice
Arbor Valley Nursery is a trusted source for purchasing Autumn Blaze Maples, thanks to their team of experienced horticulturists and nursery professionals. They have a deep understanding of the tree's growth habits, planting requirements, and care needs. When you choose Arbor Valley Nursery, you can be confident that you'll receive expert guidance for selecting the perfect Autumn Blaze Maple for your landscape.
Healthy, High-Quality Trees
Arbor Valley Nursery prides itself on offering healthy, high-quality Autumn Blaze Maples. Their trees are grown in optimal conditions and cared for by knowledgeable staff. This ensures that the trees you purchase from Arbor Valley Nursery are strong and well-developed, setting you up for success in your landscaping projects.
Arbor Valley Nursery is the top choice for purchasing Autumn Blaze Maples due to their expert knowledge, high-quality trees, wide selection, competitive pricing, and convenient services. By choosing Arbor Valley Nursery, you can be confident that you're investing in a beautiful and healthy tree that will enhance your landscape for years to come.
FAQs About Autumn Blaze Maples
How long does it take for an Autumn Blaze Maple to reach maturity?
It typically takes 10-15 years for an Autumn Blaze Maple to reach maturity, depending on growing conditions and care.
Are Autumn Blaze Maples invasive?
No, Autumn Blaze Maples are not considered invasive. However, they can produce a large number of seedlings, which may need to be managed in some landscapes.
Can I plant an Autumn Blaze Maple close to my house?
It's best to plant your Autumn Blaze Maple at least 20-30 feet away from structures to accommodate its mature size and prevent potential damage from falling branches.
Do Autumn Blaze Maples attract wildlife?
Yes, these trees provide shelter and nesting sites for various bird species, and their seeds can be a food source for small mammals and birds.
Do I need to stake my newly planted Autumn Blaze Maple?
Staking is generally not necessary for Autumn Blaze Maples, as they have strong, well-developed root systems.