In recent years, Autumn Blaze Maples have been among the most popular varieties of shade trees, and with good reason. Autumn Blaze Maples grow quickly into sizeable trees that offer excellent shade, have a vigorous appearance, pleasing shape and intense red fall color.
Autumn Blaze Maples can tolerate a wide variety of soil types, but prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil over alkaline soils. Able to grow in quite damp soils, Autumn Blaze Maples do best in soils with moderate to good drainage, and are hardy enough for lighter soils. That’s pretty good versatility!
Consistent pruning is a key to having good, long-term success with all shade tree varieties and this is especially true with Autumn Blaze Maples. During the first ten years after planting a shade tree, you should prune it aggressively every other year to remove branches that are at too steep of an angle and likely to be weakly attached in later years.
This aggressive removal of poorly structured branches will benefit all shade tree varieties, and especially Autumn Blaze Maples, due in part to their rapid growth rate. Remove poorly structured branches before they get larger than your fingers. By pruning early, the wounds will be small and will heal quickly.
If you have pruned aggressively and consistently on your shade trees the first 8-10 years, a good pruning every 4 to 5 years thereafter should keep your trees in good shape. If you love red fall color, consider an Autumn Blaze Maple. It will delight the eye and quickly grow into a handsome shade tree.