Acer × freemanii 'Armstrong'
Common Name: Freeman maple
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Reddish green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic soils with good drainage. Established trees have some tolerance for drought conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acer x freemanii, commonly called Freeman maple, is a hybrid of red maple (A. rubrum) and silver maple (A. saccharinum). The Freeman maple cultivars commonly sold in commerce today reportedly combine some of the best features of both parents, namely, solid structure, attractive form and showy fall color (from red maple) and adaptability and rapid growth (from silver maple). Oliver M. Freeman of the National Arboretum made the first controlled crosses between red maple and silver maple in 1933. Edward Murray named this hybrid cross in 1969 in honor of Oliver M. Freeman. Notwithstanding the foregoing, crosses between red and silver maples occur not only by controlled propagation but also naturally in the wild. It is sometimes difficult to identify a Freeman hybrid because of the complexity of crosses and backcrosses that may occur.

Cultivars are sometimes listed for sale by nurseries under Acer rubrum instead of Acer x freemanii.

Genus name is the Latin name for a maple tree.

Specific epithet and common name honors Oliver Freeman who first grew A. x freemani at the U. S. National Arboretum in 1933.

'Armstrong' will typically grow 40-60' (sometimes 70') tall with a very narrow, fastigiate (branches erect) form. Leaves resemble those of its silver maple parent and are 3-6" across. Bark is distinctively silvery. Fall color can be good in some years under optimum environmental conditions, but more often than not is an inferior yellowish orange.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Young plants susceptible to leafhoppers and scale. Borers.

Garden Uses

Specimen tree for the lawn, street or park.