The Freeman Maple is a hybrid tree that will naturally grow in a forest setting. It is a cross between the Red Maple (Acer rubrum) and the Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum). Plant propagators selected the best qualities of both parent trees to create the “freemanii” hybrid. The selected Freeman Maple hybrids have the rapid growth and soil/moisture adaptability of the Silver Maple combined with the refined form and superb fall color of the Red Maple.

The Freeman Maple has approximately a dozen “freemanii” cultivars, with about half that amount available in local nurseries. Cultivars vary by tree shape, from a wide oval shape to a more columnar appearance. The versatility of the Freeman Maple is a huge benefit in the landscape. It can serve as a shade tree, a “focal point” in the landscape, as a screen to block unwanted views, plus many other uses. The Freeman Maple also enjoys wide use as parkway trees in many communities. The mature height of the Freeman Maple varies from 45 to 60 plus feet and has a width of 20 to 40 feet, depending on the cultivar. Annual growth rates are typically two to three feet, but are dependent on precipitation and site quality. The Freeman Maple is tolerant of heavy soils, similar to its parent, the Silver Maple. On the other hand, the root system of the Freeman Maple is more like its’ well behaved Red Maple parent and is not the aggressive water seeker, like the Silver Maple.

For best performance, plant the Freeman Maple in full to partial sunlight. Depending on the “freemanii” cultivar, this tree produces little to no seeds and it is hardy in USDA Zones 3 through 8. The Freeman Maple is normally not affected by insect and disease pests, but occasionally insects such as Cottony Maple Scale and Red Bladder Mite Leaf Galls may damage the tree. The Maple genus as a whole is inherently susceptible to Verticillium Wilt, but I’ve yet to see a Freeman Maple succumb to the disease.

As mentioned earlier, there are several named Freeman Maple cultivars currently available in the nursery trade. The cultivar ‘Autumn Blaze’ Maple is perhaps the most widely known.  ‘Marmo’ and ‘Armstrong’ (a columnar form) are also two popular cultivars. With this tree’s rapid and vigorous growth, good form, outstanding fall color, in addition to its’ poor soil tolerance, the Freeman Maple deserves a permanent position on our “urban diversified tree species planting list”.

Harold Hoover
Kramer Tree Specialists
Board Certified Master Arborist  IL-1478B


Leave a comment describing your experience with the Freeman Maple!

4 Responses

  1. I am just a gardener living in Toronto, Ontario but I have a comment on the Freeman maple. I mourned the loss of a very old and big Norway maple that split and then had to be taken down. The stump measured over 52 inches in diameter. City of Toronto forestry recommended a Freeman maple to replace it. I must say it looked like a puny thing to replace my glorious old tree, but I am amazed at how rapidly it has developed. It was planted only 5 years ago in the fall, but the trunk is now about 6 inches in diameter and the tree looks to be about 20 feet high, and has a lovely shape. I am very pleased with the tree now. I think it must be Autumn Blaze cultivar – gorgeous colour in full display at the moment (Nov 3). It turns colour a little later than most other trees in my neighbourhood and keeps its leaves a little longer too. I recommend this tree to anyone who would like to quickly start to fill in the gap left by a beloved lost tree.

    1. Hi,
      I realize your post is from sometime ago but I am in a similar situation here in Kitchener. Your post was really helpful and I wondered how your tree is doing now. I am thinking of a Freeman Maple (cross between a Silver Maple (fast growing) and Red Maple (hardy and strong branches) – to be planted this spring. The variety you mention above is not available here.

  2. We live in Indiana and are looking to purchase the seedless Marmo Freeman maple. I wanted to verify that the Marmo Freeman maple is truly seedless. Can I drive over there to buy them or do you sell them to any nursery here near Indianapolis , Indiana?

    Thank you

    David Hazen

    1. I have a Marmo Freeman Maple and it is a gorgeous, fast growing, seed free tree. I am looking to purchase a second Marmo for the other side of my backyard. Highly recommend!

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