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Autumn Flame® Red Maple features brilliant red fall foliage and is an excellent specimen for parks, lawns, and streets.

Tree of the Month: Autumn Flame® Red Maple

 By Len Phillips, ASLA Emeritus


Trade Name: Autumn Flame® Red Maple

Botanical Name: Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Flame’

Parentage: Selection from Red Maple

Family: Aceraceae

Year of Introduction: 1965

Height: 35 to 40 feet

Spread: 35 to 40 feet

Form: Rounded

Bloom Period: Very early in the spring

Flower: Red, male only

Fruit: Seedless

Summer Foliage: Medium-green, smaller leaves than species

Autumn Foliage: Brilliant red, starts early in fall

Winter Color: Silvery color for winter interest

Bark: Silvery, thin bark, easily damaged

 Habitat: Native to entire east coast, west to the Mississippi River

Culture: Moist conditions; tolerates most soils, urban pollution and partial shade; requires acid soil

Hardiness Zone*: 3 – 8; one of the hardiest of the red maples

Growth Rate: Medium to fast

Pest Problems: None

Storm Resistance: Good branch angles improve resistance

Salt Resistance: Susceptible to wind-driven road salt

Planting: Transplants easily, avoid fall planting in northern climates

Pruning: Seldom needs pruning because of strong wood

Propagating: Own root cuttings are best due to graft incompatibility

Design Uses: Excellent specimen for parks, lawns, and streets

Companions: Use with shrubs such as Taxus, evergreen Euonymus and perennials

Other Comments: One of the best red maples, excellent in the Midwest

Available from: Most nurseries


* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html


Len Phillips can be reached via e-mail at lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com.

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