Hybrid maples (acer xfreemanii) have become very popular in the last twenty years due to their fast growth, beautiful fall color, and ability to grow in a wide variety of soil types. Varieties such as Autumn Blaze Maple, Sienna Glen Maple, Autumn Fantasy Maple, Celebration Maple and the recently introduced Firefall Maple can quickly become beautiful, long lived additions to your landscape provided they receive the proper care – especially during the first 15-20 years.
Some keys to long term success are good root and branch structure and proper planting technique. Avoid planting too deeply, and if the tree has matted/circling/root bound roots, be sure to completely eliminate the root bound condition by very aggressively root pruning prior to planting. This is necessary not only with hybrid Maples, but also with all other tree and shrub varieties.
Skillful pruning on a regular basis is the next necessary ingredient for having a long lived, strong and beautiful hybrid Maple. Proper pruning eliminates weakly attached branches, and leaves fewer, but stronger branches that can gracefully handle violent winds and snow and ice storms.
‘Firefall’ hybrid maple has become a favorite of mine because almost all the branches are attached to the trunk at angles that create very strong branches, and a bit less pruning.
Another nice feature of hybrid maples is their fairly good resistance to Japanese beetles. Both of the parents of these hybrid maples – Red Maple and Silver Maple – frequently show upon the lists of plants resistant to Japanese Beetle.
We have many different hybrid maples available. A complete listing of the trees we carry this year can be found on our Plant Page.
I have also shared this post with the Northfield News.