Acer × freemanii A.E. Murray

(Sect. Rubra)

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New Trees

This important maple is the result of a cross between A. rubrum and A. saccharinum. Tree 20–25 m; branches upright, forming rounded or oval crown. Bark silvery grey. Leaves smaller and less deeply lobed than those of A. saccharinum; deeply dissected, sinuses rounded to acute; autumn colour red and yellow on the same leaf. Samaras 3–6 cm long, striated. Flowering February to March (USA). Van Gelderen et al. 1994, van Gelderen & van Gelderen 1999. Distribution USA: occasional where the parents overlap. This hybrid was also produced artificially at the US National Arboretum by Oliver Freeman in 1933. Habitat As for parent species. USDA Hardiness Zone 5–6. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration NT85. Cross-reference K76.

Acer ×freemanii is an increasingly important tree, especially in North America, selected clones combining the best features of the two much-loved parents: the flaming reds of the autumn coloration of A. rubrum, with greater tolerance of cold and drier conditions inherited from A. saccharinum. In addition, the hybrid has stronger branches than the notoriously brittle A. saccharinum and is thus more suitable to use as a street tree in its stead (Dirr 1998, van den Berk 2002). In Europe the best-known clone is ‘Jeffersred’ (sold as Autumn Blaze), capable of fabulous autumn colour, as is ‘DTR102’ (Autumn Fantasy), which also colours well in warmer areas. ‘Marmo’ was selected from a male tree in the Morton Arboretum for both its superb and long-lasting autumn colour and its seedlessness. ‘Celzam’ (Celebration) is rather narrow in outline and thus particularly suited for use as a street tree. Other clones are ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Elegant’, once thought to be selections of A. rubrum and A. saccharinum, respectively, but now considered hybrids. All are capable of becoming large trees.

Genus

Acer

Other species in the genus