Autumn Blaze...bad choice?

angbarnes17May 11, 2009

We've been looking for a medium-sized tree for our frontyard. We went to the local nusery and bought a Autumn Blaze maple. I originally wanted a Sun Valley maple because it is supposed to be the smallest. The only ones the nursery had were 16' tall and $350.00 The nursery people told me the next smallest is the Autumn Blaze. They said it would grow to about 35'x35'. The tag on the tree also says that. They said it was their best-seller. I looked on here just out of curiosity to see what people's opinion on the tree was, and now I am starting to think we made a bad choice. Does anyone have anything good to say about them to make me feel a little better?

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I am one of the people that rag on autumn blaze maple constantly but I realize that in Utah you have very alkaline soils and other species of maples don't do well there. They get chlorosis I believe.
So let me just be clear. I would take an autumn blaze maple over no maple at all but here in the east there are other maple species I believe to perform better.

You might also look into the European hedge maple which is tolerant of alkaline soils.

As for the price tag, it's hard to say if that is a good price or not without knowing the trunk caliper. If you can find out what that is, I can tell you if it's a good deal or not.

One thing I would definitely pass up is a multi stem autumn blaze maple. Not a good idea.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:34PM
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I forgot to mention that hedge maples (Acer campestre) are a little smaller than autumn blaze freeman maples.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:38PM
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Well after thinking we made a bad choice I went back out to check it out and...its an Autumn Flame. Are they better than the Autumn Blaze? We bought one in a 15 gal. bucket for $134.00.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 1:12AM
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Autumn Flame® is a red maple.
Personally I would much prefer a red maple cultivar like autumn flame where I live but from what I hear red maples don't do so hot where the soils are alkaline and in those instances the silver maple hybrids are more tolerant of those soils. That would be a good question for local gardeners or horticulturists, perhaps a call to your local extension office will answer that.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:04PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

You would have better luck with shantung maple which appears to do fine in alkaline soil. Mine are growing in limestone rubbles which is pretty alkaline. It's supposed to stay small. 25-35 feet. Another maple to try out is Bigtooth maple which is native to Utah from what I've read.

This is shantung maple.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 8:13AM
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"One thing I would definitely pass up is a multi stem autumn blaze maple. Not a good idea." We saw a gorgeous clumping Autumn Blaze at the nursery today and we were ready to buy it, but I saw this remark and now I am confused. Could you please explain why you consider a multi stem maple bad? Thank you a lot

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 4:47PM
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Multi-trunk maple trees, by necessity, cannot grow perpendicular to the ground, thereby making them vulnerable to weather related breaks in their limb structure. I like to choose a single, straight trunked tree. It will be better able to support its heavy canopy of limbs and leaves when it matures. By the way, there are "Red Sunset" (18' tall, 7" caliper, and 8 yrs. old, is a relatively slow grower - averaging about 1.5' per year), "Caddo Sugar Maple" (25', 11" caliper and 10 years old, moderate growth of 2'-2.5' per annum ), "Autumn Blaze" (15', 2.5" caliper and newly planted is supposed to grow about 3' per year after it gets established) maples currently on my property with an "October Glory" (15' and 2.5" caliper, and a similar growing potential to the "Autumn Blaze") due to arrive in the next week or two. Sugar maples that do so well in northern and eastern climates, reportedly do poorly here in Oklahoma. In any case, one rarely sees them here. In any case, I purchased my "Autumn Blaze" after watching a neighbor's tree develop into an outstanding specimen tree, displaying stunning fall colors that keep on going well into November. If you choose a healthy maple specimen which generally does well in your region of the country, plant it well, and give it reasonably good care, most of the cultivars currently available in reputable nurseries and tree farms should give you a lifetime of pleasure and enjoyment, preempting the fear of having made a "bad choice".

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 9:41PM
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I have some large Autumn Blaze Maples and October Glory Maples, 4-6" caliper. The Autumn Blaze all have lots of splits along the trunk and some have large sections of the bark dying and peeling off even though we are wrapping in the winter to prevent sun scald. The OG do not have a problem because we wrap. Is this common for the Autumn Blaze in the Tulsa OK area? or am I doing something wrong?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Autumn Flame is a great choice, is a seedless male so you won't have the mess other mature maples would produce.
Try to prune your tree to have just a single leader and that will keep it into a uniform shape and better against winter storms. It will also keep it narrow if you are trying to avoid growing a broad wide maple.
Autumn Flame also has smaller leaves that other Red
maples, is shape and color is beautiful. You won't be disappointed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:22AM
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Dmacsimus(Zone 9)

How's your Autumn Flame maple tree doing? So how's the growth rate been? Could you please send an updated pic of the tree? I have one also and wanted to see what it might lock like in a few years.....

    Bookmark   October 17, 2014 at 1:49PM
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