Freeman's Maple - Acer rubrum x saccharinum or Acer x freemanii
This lesser known hybrid maple is actually a cross between the common Silver and Red Maples in southern Ontario. Often found in wetland and swampy forest areas, this is one tree species that doesn’t mind getting its feet wet! The leaves of the Freeman’s Maple can be difficult to distinguish from those of its parent species, but tend to have notches less wide than the Red Maple, but larger than the Silver Maple. Many landscapers believe this tree captures the best qualities of both species: the fast growth of the Silver Maple with the hardier wood and brilliant colours of the Red Maple!
The leaves can take on characteristics of either parent species, and will sometimes appear blotchy red and yellow and orange in the fall
This species will tolerate wet conditions and even standing water for extended periods, but will also grow well in dry soils. This is a photo of our large stand of Freeman's Maples in Wild Goose Woods.
Freeman’s Maple bark is smooth when young. Photo by Brian Lacey.
Freeman's Maple twig and buds. Photo by Brian Lacey.
Freeman's Maple flowers are a harbinger of spring.
Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Freeman's Maples. 1995-1999.
Farrar, J.L.. 1995. Trees in Canada. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. Toronto. ON. 504 pp.
Kershaw, L. 2001. Trees in Ontario: Including tall shrubs. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. AB. 240 pp
Muma, W. 2011. Ontario Trees and Shrubs. [Online] Available: www.ontariotrees.com
OMNR, 2011. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario Tree Atlas. [Online] Available: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/267027.html
OMNR, 2008. Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Risk.