Autumn Blaze Maple
Autumn Blaze Maple: Add Beauty and Value To Your Landscape
It’s not hard to figure out where the Autumn Blaze Maple gets its name. As summer turns to fall each year, this tree’s normally green canopy dons a deep red color that seems to burn against the horizon.
Autumn Blaze (Acer freemanii) is a hybrid of the Silver Maple and the Red Maple. It is an excellent choice for planting in many places since it grows quickly and easily. Displaying the best qualities of each of its parent trees, the Autumn Blaze variety is at once visually stunning and hardy.
A healthy, well-placed, mature Autumn Blaze can increase the value of your property and add an eye-catching element to your outdoor area. It is deciduous, so it will show lush green in the summer and - after its fiery fall display - will drop its leaves for winter.
These trees are highly popular, and are favored by urban foresters and planning officials because they are not only extremely attractive, but also very resistant to pests and disease. The branches are strong and able to resist breakage from snow, wind, and even from people hanging on them.
Planting Your Autumn Blaze Maple
If you plant your autumn blaze maple with care, you will be able to enjoy this beautiful tree for many years.
- Choose a suitable location. Think about how big the maple will get once it’s mature and make sure the tree isn’t going to have to compete with any structures or other trees. Also think about whether it might encroach onto a public easement or a neighbor’s property line and adjust accordingly.
- In temperate areas, late fall and early spring are the best times to plant a new tree. This time is when foliage and fruit growth is fairly dormant, giving the roots a chance to establish themselves.
- Dig a hole that is 2-3 times wider than the root ball. Go only so deep that the top of the root ball is at ground level when you set it inside the hole. If the soil in your area is highly compacted, break up the dirt that will surround the roots of your tree.
- Make sure to center the tree, and to rotate it into your desired position before filling.
- Fill in the hole, but make sure not to bury the trunk too deep. Many people put a mound of dirt at the base of a newly planted tree. This is a mistake and can lead to rot, disease, and infestation. Make sure that the full “skirt” at the bottom of the trunk is exposed. (The “skirt” is where the trunk flares outward just above the root system.) Pack the dirt a bit so that the tree is held firmly in place, but not so that it is overly hard. A good method is to add water intermittently as you add soil to allow settling and to eliminate pockets of air that could damage the roots.
- If the planting area is heavily used by animals or children, at risk of damage by lawn equipment, or you live in a windy area, you can stake the tree until it becomes well established. Once the tree is sturdy, you should remove all staking materials immediately. If the tree is healthy and there are no risk factors like those listed above, you don’t need to stake or otherwise secure the tree.
- Make sure to water deep and water often, especially in the first weeks after planting. This is key to the health and survival of your Autumn Blaze Maple.