The Autumn Blaze Maple is a hybrid of the Silver Maple and Red Maple that was introduced in the mid-1970s, and this hybrid is easier to grow and care for because it is able to withstand stressful environments that would kill other types of maples. This tree has a beautiful fall color, grows quickly and provides an excellent shade tree. It has become one of the most popular types of hybrid maples in the United States and can also be found in Australia, New Zealand, France and Canada.
An Autumn Blaze Maple should be planted in the spring, after the frost has cleared the ground and before the tree has come out of its dormant state. These trees prefer full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. They do not like acidic soil but are tolerant of clay. Dig a hole that is at least three times as wide as the rootball and only slightly deeper. Recent research has indicated a square hole may be beneficial when planting any type of tree, as this will allow the roots to expand more naturally. Avoid creating a cone shaped hole, but make sure the bottom of the hole is flat and just as wide as the top of the hole. This tree will require a large area for the roots to expand.
Place the Autumn Blaze Maple in the center of the hole so that the top of the rootball is even with the top of the hole. There is not a need to mix in any organic components unless the soil is particularly unfertile. Nor is there a need to add any fertilizer as this may cause some injury to the roots. Backfill the hole with the dirt and water deeply then apply a layer of mulch to a depth of about two inches. Keep the soil moist, but not wet for the first growing season.
This tree is hardier and able to withstand more stress than its cousins the Red Maple or Silver Maple; however, the tree should be watered in a drought. Spread fertilizer annually, but don’t place it too close to the trunk of the tree as the bark can be damaged. Spread the fertilizer under the canopy of the tree in the spring.
This tree will require pruning in the spring and again in the fall. Cut out deadwood, weakened limbs or any limbs that may not be able to support winter snow and ice. Removing branches will allow additional sunlight to reach the lower branches and will keep the tree healthier in the long run. This twice yearly pruning will also help reduce damage from passing trucks when the tree is planted close to a residential road. The tree will grow quickly when properly cared for and will soon provide shade for the area.
The Autumn Blaze Maple can provide shade for homes very quickly, thus reducing heating bills in only a couple of years. They are hardier than some of the other types of maples and are able to grow in a wide variety of soil types. Very little care is required for these trees, as they do not produce large seeds that may create a mess in the yard. The twice-yearly pruning will help keep this tree healthy for many years.