Hardy and fast-growing, Freeman maple is a great shade tree suited to medium and large urban yards. Small red flowers appear in early spring, providing emerging bees with a much-needed food source. Come fall, its forest green leaves turn brilliant red and orange.
A hybrid of two Ontario native tree species, the silver maple and red maple, Freeman maple has evolved to thrive in local conditions. It grows well in sand, loam or clay soils, and can tolerate wet and dry conditions, drought, compaction and juglones. It’s resistant to most pests and diseases but can develop poor limb structure due to its rapid growth. Regular pruning will help keep it strong and healthy.
In addition to providing food for pollinators, Freeman maple hosts hundreds of species of caterpillars, offering an all-you-can-eat buffet to the birds. They’re also one of the first trees to display fall colour, which lasts for many weeks.
Freeman maple grows 12-18 metres tall and 6-12 metres wide. If you have the space, plant one in your front yard to share its early spring blooms and vibrant fall colour with your neighbours.