Firefall Maple


            Firefall Maple is a little known but excellent hybrid maple variety developed with the combined efforts of the University of Minnesota and The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  This homegrown maple is a close cousin of the immensely popular and well known Autumn Blaze Maple and actually has characteristics that some consider superior to Autumn Blaze.

            Firefall Maple grows quickly, tolerates a wide variety of soils, and withstands drought fairly well once established.  Both Autumn Blaze and Firefall Maple sport showy red flowering/pollinating structures early each spring.  Firefall Maple is a strictly male tree that produces no seed crop, while Autumn Blaze produces a noticeable crop of seed each late spring.  Many homeowners may prefer Firefall Maple for its lack of seed litter.

            Another fine attribute of Firefall Maple is the consistently excellent branch angles of attachment to the trunk, which produces very strong branches that resist wind, snow and ice damage extremely well.  This also means less need for pruning on Firefall Maple than Autumn Blaze Maple.

            While both Autumn Blaze and Firefall Maple produce gorgeous red/orange/burgundy fall color, Firefall Maple shows its color a bit earlier in the fall.   This can help the consistency of fall color from year to year.  Other hybrid maples that color later may “freeze green” if hit by an early hard frost before having a chance to develop their best fall color, while Firefall Maple is likely to attain its full glory of fall color by turning earlier.

            Firefall Maple reaches a height of 50-60 feet tall and spread of 30-40 feet wide.  The fairly restrained width may make Firefall Maple a good choice for spaces where a really wide spreading variety would overwhelm.  The pleasing upright, oval form of Firefall Maple makes for a handsome tree, and distinctive deeply lobed cut leaf foliage adds to the appeal of Firefall.

            If you give Firefall Maple a try I think you will be please with its many outstanding features.