TREES & plants

Freeman's maple

This sturdy hybrid is very common in this region, often serving as a parkway or street tree. It has a brilliant, red-orange color in the fall. Freeman's maple is a hybrid of the red maple and silver maple; the cross yields both the strong branch attachment of the red maple and fast growth rate of the silver maple. Freeman's maple is also less susceptible to chlorosis symptoms than the red or silver maples. Freeman's maple offers a number of cultivars and these are more commonly planted than the species.

Botanical name: 
Acer x freemanii
All Common Names: 
Freeman's maple, Freeman maple
Family (English): 
Soapberry (formerly Maple)
Family (Botanic): 
Sapindaceae (formerly Aceraceae)
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks
  • City parkway
  • Wide median
Landscape Uses: 
  • Windbreak
  • Specimen
  • Shade
  • Parkway/street
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Mature Height: 
40-60 feet
Mature Width: 
20-40 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Alkaline soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Commonly planted
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Fall color
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Columnar
  • Oval
  • Pyramidal
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Insect pollinators
More Information: 

Size and Form

40 to 60 feet high and 20 to 40 feet wide
Shape varies from upright, oval to rounded

Tree & Plant Care

Not tolerant of extremely dry locations
Avoid pruning maples in spring as they are 'bleeders' and will lose large amounts of sap

Disease, pests, and problems

Verticillium wilt (fungus) is a potential problem for maples; maple bladder gall

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

This hybrid has the strong branch attachment of the red maple and fast growth rate of the silver maple
Less susceptible to chlorosis symptoms (yellowing leaves) than red or silver maples

Native geographic location and habitat

Of hybrid origin, a cross between two native trees, red maple (Acer rubrum) and silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

Bark color and texture

Bark is fairly smooth and silver-gray, becoming fissured with age

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color

Simple leaves in pairs (opposite); 3 to 5 inches long
The 5-lobed leaves are deeply lobed, with toothed sinuses; often resemble those of silver maple
Medium green with a silvery underside
Fall color is red-orange to yellow, variable by cultivar

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers are inconspicuous

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras)
Some cultivars produce no fruit

Cultivars and their differences

Armstrong (Acer x freemanii ‘Armstrong’):  Height: 50 to 70 feet   Spread: 15 to 20 feet  Form: Upright, narrow 
Fall color is an orange-red, depending upon the season.

Freeman's maple (Acer x freemanii)Freeman's maple (Acer x freemanii), Autumn Blaze®photo: John Hagstrom

Autumn Blaze® (Acer x freemanii ‘Jeffersred’):  Height: 50 to 60 feet    Spread: 40 to 50 feet   Form: Dense broad oval to rounded crown 
Has a strong central leader and better branching habit than silver maple
Fall color is a consistent orange-red
Generally produces very little fruit

Marmo (Acer x freemanii ‘Marmo’):  Height: 45 to 70 feet   Spread: 35 to 40 feet   Form: Uniform, upright to columnar 
Has a strong central leader and excellent branching habit
Fall color is an interesting mottled blend of red and green to burgundy, and yellow
Produces no fruit
The parent tree was selected from the collections at The Morton Arboretum. A Chicagoland Grows® introduction.