Autumn Blaze® Maple

Autumn Blaze® Maple

Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’

Description & Overview

A rapid grower with an upright oval habit, the Autumn Blaze® Maple has rich dark green foliage which turns a brilliant orange-red in fall. It also holds its color longer than other selections!

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Variety of North American Native
Mature Height: 40-50 feet
Mature Spread: 40 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Upright, dense oval canopy
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Tolerant of a wide variety of growing conditions
Flower: Insignificant
Bloom Period: April
Foliage: Dark Green
Fall Color: Red-Orange
Fruit Notes: Samara, fewer

Suggested Uses:

The Autumn Blaze® Maple works well as a shade tree, focal point for fall color, or as a street tree

autumn blaze maple acer freemanii

Wildlife Value:

Although its fruit production is minimal compared to other trees, the Autumn Blaze Maple can provide good cover for birds and other wildlife in the canopy.

Maintenance Tips:

The rapid growth rate of the Autumn Blaze® Maple means that small trees can develop poor structure if not correctly maintained. Our trees are professionally field pruned for strong branches and a dominant central leader, reducing the need to prune them in the landscape. Freeman Maples (Acer x freemanii cultivars) and Elms (Ulmus spp.) require structural pruning every 5-7 years by a professional arborist to maintain good form.

We invite you to check out the Arborist For Hire lookup at the Wisconsin Arborist Association website to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you.

autumn blaze maple acer freemanii


Like norway, silver, and red maples, Autumn Blaze® Maple can develop Tar Spot (Rhystima spp.), a fungal pathogen. This is an ornamental disease and will not kill the tree.

The thin bark of younger trees is easily damaged by lawn equipment or buck rub. Take care when mowing around the tree and apply a trunk guard over fall and winter to protect the trunk from mechanical damage.

Autumn Blaze® Maple, like other Freeman Maples, may produce suckers on the trunk or at old pruning wounds. Suckers can be prevented by maintaining tree vigor, and should be removed during the dormant season when they are observed.

Young trees can be susceptible to leafhopper and scale damage. If you observe general decline of the tree or branch flagging (individual branch death), consult an arborist to assess the plant’s needs and determine what plant health care options are best for you.

Leaf Lore:

Freeman Maples are noted for their fast growth, uniform habit, and reliable fall color. However, these trees have been heavily planted in the last 30 years since the introduction of the original Autumn Blaze® Maple (US Plant Patent 4864) in 1980. While the trees have beautiful fall color, please consider diversity when selecting them for planting. If you or your neighbors already have a Freeman Maple cultivar in the landscape, it is recommended to pick a different, non-maple (Acer) species for your landscape. Remember, Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease were problematic because we relied on only one tree for our boulevards. Let’s not make the same mistake with Freeman Maples.

The Autumn Blaze® Maple is a selection of Freeman Maple (Acer x freemanii), which is a naturally occurring hybrid between our native Silver Maple and Red Maple. Freeman Maples retain the rapid growth of their Silver Maple parent and combine it with the improved structure and fall color of Red Maple. Their fibrous root systems are adaptable to many soil and moisture conditions, making them an ideal choice for landscape plantings in tougher sites. Autumn Blaze® lives up to its name with a brilliant, consistent orange-red fall color.

Companion Plants:

The Autumn Blaze® Maple pairs well with partial-shade perennials planted at its base. Consider using Rozanne Geranium, Hostas, or Coralbells to add color beneath the tree.

autumn blaze maple acer freemanii benchcard