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Avatar for cagespear
May 23, 2020 7:25 AM CST
Naperville
Hello,

Please find attached the images of the supposedly Automn Blaze Maple Tree found in the nearby store. Unfortunately, the store has not done the tagging and they are not entirely sure if they are really Automn Blaze Maple.

Can you please take a look at these pictures and help me confirm? I want to buy and plant it ASAP :)

Thanks in advance..
Amit Sharma
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May 23, 2020 12:15 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
I personally would never buy an unlabeled, unidentified, or mislabeled plant - especially a tree! - that I wasn't absolutely sure of its identity, unless it really didn't matter for the long term life of that plant in my landscape. Sometimes "close enough" is good enough - especially if you can afford to make the mistake.

You cannot get a 100% certain answer that this plant is an Autumn Blaze Maple (<I>Acer x freemanii 'Autumn Blaze') - short of paying for a DNA test. I can tell you it looks like it, and it probably is - because that is a plant that is easy to propagate and has been grown in the horticulture industry for a long time. You are probably getting this one from a big box store that doesn't specialize in plants, but in volume and low price. Autumn Blaze is a hybrid between Red Maple and Silver Maple.

I planted the first ones I grew back in 1987, on a thoroughbred horse farm where I managed the landscape. I have three of them growing here at Viburnum Valley. They grow quickly, have decent fall color most years, and tolerate wetter and drier conditions. They do tend to form narrow crotches in their branching patterns - like many Red Maple and Silver Maple plants - so you must stay on top of your pruning regimen to ensure only the widest angles of branching are allowed. No double, triple, or quadruple parallel stems, or you will have a big splitting breakup of your tree just when it starts looking good. Here is a November 2017 image of one of my plants, showing habit and general fall color character.

Thumb of 2020-05-23/ViburnumValley/fdd434

So: it is always your choice. Purchase blindly, plant, and grow. Or - go for certainty from a reputable grower who knows what they are selling you, and are willing to back it up with their name and honor.
Avatar for cagespear
May 24, 2020 9:59 AM CST
Naperville
Thank you for your detailed response. The cost difference is so much 60 vs 200 that I am willing to take a chance for now. But I highly appreciate your advice!
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May 24, 2020 10:06 AM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Go forth, and plant!

Keep an eye on the narrow/tight crotches, and prune while young and growing vigorously.
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May 24, 2020 10:12 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Hi cagespear, Welcome!

Here's our database entry for Freeman's Maple (Acer x freemanii Autumn BlazeĀ®) where you will find photos and information.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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Sep 29, 2020 10:25 PM CST
Name: Alicia
Ennis, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Dog Lover
ViburnumValley said:I personally would never buy an unlabeled, unidentified, or mislabeled plant - especially a tree! - that I wasn't absolutely sure of its identity, unless it really didn't matter for the long term life of that plant in my landscape. Sometimes "close enough" is good enough - especially if you can afford to make the mistake.

You cannot get a 100% certain answer that this plant is an Autumn Blaze Maple (<I>Acer x freemanii 'Autumn Blaze') - short of paying for a DNA test. I can tell you it looks like it, and it probably is - because that is a plant that is easy to propagate and has been grown in the horticulture industry for a long time. You are probably getting this one from a big box store that doesn't specialize in plants, but in volume and low price. Autumn Blaze is a hybrid between Red Maple and Silver Maple.

I planted the first ones I grew back in 1987, on a thoroughbred horse farm where I managed the landscape. I have three of them growing here at Viburnum Valley. They grow quickly, have decent fall color most years, and tolerate wetter and drier conditions. They do tend to form narrow crotches in their branching patterns - like many Red Maple and Silver Maple plants - so you must stay on top of your pruning regimen to ensure only the widest angles of branching are allowed. No double, triple, or quadruple parallel stems, or you will have a big splitting breakup of your tree just when it starts looking good. Here is a November 2017 image of one of my plants, showing habit and general fall color character.

Thumb of 2020-05-23/ViburnumValley/fdd434

So: it is always your choice. Purchase blindly, plant, and grow. Or - go for certainty from a reputable grower who knows what they are selling you, and are willing to back it up with their name and honor.


Hello! I am very interested in getting some autumn blaze maples for my property, and have stumbled upon this thread. Do you mind explaining what exactly "narrow crotches" mean? Maybe some visual examples of narrow vs normal. Also, I have been reading that they are suitable for my zone, which is 8a (Dallas, TX area). Is this true? Any tips/advice that you can offer would be great as well. Thank you so much! I appreciate all your help!
Thank You!
Last edited by haushinka Sep 29, 2020 10:26 PM Icon for preview
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Sep 30, 2020 8:33 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Hi haushinka:

I am currently on an extended vacation "Across The Fruited Plain", and won't be home for a few weeks. KY, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, ND, SD, WY, MT, ID, OR, and NV are currently under my belt.

I will try to respond to this once back at the Valley, but may need a reminder nudge. Others here should be able to show you what is meant by "narrow branch crotch angles", though. Googling those terms should also bring it up, as should any primer or article about pruning trees for structural long term health.
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Sep 30, 2020 10:05 PM CST
Name: Alicia
Ennis, TX (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Dog Lover
ViburnumValley said:Hi haushinka:

I am currently on an extended vacation "Across The Fruited Plain", and won't be home for a few weeks. KY, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, ND, SD, WY, MT, ID, OR, and NV are currently under my belt.

I will try to respond to this once back at the Valley, but may need a reminder nudge. Others here should be able to show you what is meant by "narrow branch crotch angles", though. Googling those terms should also bring it up, as should any primer or article about pruning trees for structural long term health.

Awesome! Thank you for your reply. I will Google search it. And......SAFE TRAVELS to you! Sounds like quite an adventure!! Have a blast!!! Hurray!
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