- Broadleaf, deciduous tree, a natural and artificial hybrid between Acer rubrum (Red Maple) and Acer saccharinum (Silver Maple). A tree to 65-80 ft (20-24 m), tall having upright branches and a rounded or oval crown. Leaves simple, opposite and variable in size and shape; intermediate between the two parents.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4
- There appears to be some confusion, or differences of opinion, as to what selections are A. × freemanii (Freeman Maple) and which are A. rubrum (Red Maple). One authority and/or nursery catalog may list a particular selection (e.g., 'Armstrong') as a form of A. × freemanii, whereas another may identify it as a selection of A. rubrum. A hybridizer at a major wholesale nursery provided the following insight regarding Red Maples and its hybrids with Silver Maple: "various degrees of interbreeding has occurred between silver and red, including lots of backcrossing. So there are plants that are 50/50, 90/10, etc. Also, I have noticed that in the wide geographic range of Acer rubrum, certain localities appear more Freeman-like than others".
Detailed measurements of leaf shape (length, width, lobe angles and separations, etc.) could not easily distinguish Acer ×freemanii trees from those of the parent species, A. rubrum and A. saccharinum. (Jensen, R. J., et al. 2002). One can say that the appearance of Acer × freemanii leaves are generally intermediate between the parents.
Freeman maples likely occur more frequently in nature where the ranges of red and silver maple overlap, such as through the northeastern and northcentral United States and adjacent areas of Canada. The samara wings (“the helicopters”) of silver maple are longer than those of red maple, whereas the wings of the Freeman maple are intermediate. Furthermore, the length of the samara wings may be a good measure of the proportional make-up of red and silver maple genetics within a given the hybrid (Dirr & Warren, The Tree Book, Timber Press, 2019).
The more common selections are listed below. Be advised that in the nursery trade they may offered under Acer rubrum:
- 'Armstrong' - upright, narrow, 50-70 ft (15-21 m) tall and 15 ft (4.5 m) wide, silver gray bark, leaves 5-lobed, rather deeply cut, appear intermediate between Red and Silver maple but tending toward Silver maple characteristics, a female clone, fall color erratic, poor, yellow-orange.
- Armstrong Two™ - possibly more dense, tighter form than 'Armstrong', reportedly has better fall color (orange-red), however, some authorities do not see any differences.
- Autumn Blaze® - upright branching, broadly oval, 50 ft (15 m) tall and 40 ft (12 m) wide, fast growing, leaves deeply cut, 5-lobed, resembling Silver Maple, excellent orange-red fall color.
- Celebration™ (syn. 'Celzam') - upright habit, dense foliage, 45 ft (14 m) tall and 25 ft (7.5 m) wide, leaves deeply lobed, a male clone, fall color from yellow-green to red and gold.
- 'Morgan' - open habit, oval rounded, very fast growing, to 45 ft (14 m) tall and 40 ft (12 m) wide, a female clone, leaves large, deeply lobed, orange-red to red fall color.
- Sienna Glen® - leaf with almost a cutleaf appearance, deeply 3-5 lobed with a long central lobe; color is medium green above and light green to gray below, fall color is yellow, orange-red to burgundy.
- freemanii: named in 1969 after Oliver M. Freeman of the U.S. National Arboretum who, in 1933, raised the hybrid selection of A. rubrum × A. saccharinum.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: several in the parking lot behind Crop Science