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Tree of the Month - Freeman's Maple

Freeman's Maple: Acer x freemanii

The Freeman’s Maple is a popular hybrid of Red Maple and Silver Maple trees.  Although very common in the wild anywhere the ranges of Red Maple and Silver Maple overlap, it is named for the first person to make one under controlled conditions, Oliver Freeman, who hybridized this beautiful tree in 1933.  It exhibits many of the best aspects from its parent species, including its lovely colour and adaptability to a wide range of site conditions.

The Freeman’s Maple possesses vibrant red leaves with occasional splotches of yellow, usually associated with the Red Maple, which can be seen in the Fall.  It is ideal for those looking to plant a tree that truly shines in the autumn season.  This tree’s bark is a silver-gray colour that is smooth when the tree is young, but forms fissures as it ages.  It generally grows to be 50 to 80 feet tall, and its branches grow upward into an oval shape.  It is also a very fast growing tree, growing at a rate that can be four times quicker than the red maple!  The Freeman’s Maple is also a hardy species of tree and is fairly resistant to most diseases and pests.

Take a look:

(Source: University of Guelph)         (Source: This Old House)

Want to plant one?

The Freeman’s Maple is very tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, and it exhibits the successful growing habits of its parent species.  This tree can withstand both wet and dry soil for extended periods of time, though it prefers well-drained soil and full sun.  It can sometimes even be seen growing in swamps!  The species is considered tolerant of urban environments, and makes a lovely shade tree.  They are generally taller than they are wide, making them ideal for planting near streets and sidewalks, and they also have a fairly shallow root system, so they are unlikely to cause significant damage to underground pipes.  It is recommended that saplings not be pruned, as they can bleed sap excessively when cut.