Autumn Blaze Maple

Autumn Blaze Maple
The autumn blaze maple tree is a brilliant orange-red tree that is known for its speed of growth. The following article will cover some information related to caring for this tree and problems related to it.
Gardenerdy Staff
A hybrid tree that was created with the combination of some good traits of two different maple species: this is what would define the autumn blaze maple tree. The two parent species are the red maple and the silver maple. The autumn blaze has a brilliant orange-red color, healthy branching, dense growth, and excellent pest and disease resistance. This tree has become one of the most popular ornamental trees to be grown in gardens and yards. If you too are captured by the beauty of this brilliant tree, the following paragraphs will prove to be a useful read.

This hybrid tree grows vigorously, is tolerant to different conditions and serves as an excellent substitute in areas where red maple cannot be grown. It can grow up to 50 to 60 feet in height and has a spread of about 30 to 40 feet. This tree can withstand storm damage due to the strong wood trait from the red maple. It can grow in almost all soil conditions and thus, was named the 2003 Urban Tree of the Year. It has a combination of vigor and adaptability of the silver maple and the red maple's beauty as well as strength. The leaves are similar to those of the silver maple. They are opposite, simple, and five-lobed with toothy margins. In summer, the leaves are a rich green color and turn crimson-orange in fall. Compared to leaves of other maples, the leaves tend to last longer.

It is tolerant to different soil conditions. However, one needs to take some care by providing the optimum conditions for growth. The care includes some simple precautions to be taken.
  • Partial shade to full sun
  • Neutral to slightly acidic soil (which makes the leaves look bright red in fall)
  • Well drained, rich soil
  • Location within USDA zones 3 to 8 that have moderate climate
  • Planting in late fall or early spring
Once you plant your tree, you need to top dress the soil with compost. Then water it well during the growing season. As the tree gets established, you can start pruning it as and when required. The tree should be pruned only in summer when the leaves are fully developed. Fertilizers can be added to established trees in late winter, annually.

Although the tree is sturdier and more robust as compared to other maple trees, deficiency of certain minerals can affect the leaf color. These trees need magnesium and iron for the formation of chlorophyll in the leaves. If there is less iron and magnesium available, especially when the tree is planted in alkaline soil, it will lead to less chlorophyll production. This leads to problems which make the smaller young leaves turn yellow with green veins. The leaves are weak and die faster.

As mentioned above, these trees are not prone to many diseases and pests due to their hybrid nature. However, there are some diseases that also affect other maples. These diseases include the following:
  • Anthracnose (fungal disease that mostly affects young leaves, causing defoliation)
  • Verticillium wilt (fungus that causes a thin, slow growing crown)
  • Root rot
  • Trumpet skeletonizer (a caterpillar that feeds on maple leaves and forms trumpet-like cocoons)
  • Mites
  • Pear thrips (insects that can suck the juices from the leaves, ultimately killing the tree)
These trees are in demand all over the United States, due to their bright beauty and sturdy characteristics. You can speak to your local nursery to add this ornamental tree to your landscape. Come fall, and your garden will be set ablaze with the bright leaves of this beautiful tree.