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Cooling shade in summer, blazing leaves in autumn, and a fast growth rate! Firefall Freeman Maple gives you everything you want in a shade tree. You’ll be relaxing under its leafy canopy in no time. Plant one tree to shade your patio, or plant a pair to hold a hammock in the not-too-distant future. This tough performer also makes a mighty fine street or parking lot tree. Firefall Maple is a cross between our glorious native Red Maple and our fast-growing native Silver Maple. Born and bred in Minnesota, it is better suited to northern climates than other Maples of its type.
The Freeman Maple is a Red Maple–Silver Maple hybrid that was first produced in 1933 at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. These hybrids boast the best qualities of each of their parents—the red fall color and strong branching of the Red Maple and the fast growth and alley-cat toughness of the Silver Maple. However, many Freeman Maples proved to be less than ideal for the Upper Midwest. Plant breeders at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum gave cold-climate homeowners a smart new option when they developed Firefall Freeman Maple in the 1990s. Its wood hardens off (prepares for winter) earlier than other selections, making it perfect for the North.
Fantastic foliage! Firefall’s mother was a Silver Maple named ‘Beebe’ with unusually lacy leaves. Her influence can be seen along with the father’s. Firefall Maple displays an interesting mix of foliage types, from fine and ruffly like ‘Beebe’ to more classically Maple-shaped like the male parent, ‘Autumn Spire’ Red Maple. Firefall consistently turns a rich red in autumn. The color is more intense than that of other Freeman selections; the tree may easily be mistaken for a Red Maple.
How to Grow
They don’t get much more carefree than the Firefall Hybrid Maple Tree. This simple-to-grow tree will get right to business making shade for your picnic table or patio, while putting few demands on your busy life. Just give your tree a sunny, open space in which to grow, keep it watered with the easy-to-use Elements™ Watering System, feed it with our Elements™ Fertilizer, and stand back! Young Hybrid Maples have been known to put on as much as three feet of growth per year when cared for in this way. Pests and diseases are of no concern with this one, either.
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