can you help me identify what type of Maple tree this is please?

illinigirl(5)November 3, 2013

The owner of the home says it is a "burning maple" however a google search reveals nothing of this name for maples. The local nursery looked at my photo and called it a "sunset maple". I really love this tree and I don't want to end up with something different when I plant in my yard. Can you help identify it?


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Really need a close up of a leaf to tell for sure.

'sunset' maple is pretty unhelpful and I'd worry about a nurseryperson that just gave me that info. There is no single 'sunset' maple but the word 'sunset' is included in several maple cultivar names. It could be 'Red Sunset', 'Pacific Sunset' or possibly 'Norwegian Sunset'. Or it might not be one of these at all :-))

Post a close up of one of the fallen leaves and we should be able to tell for sure.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:28PM
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ok i'll try to get ahold of one tomorrow. thanks!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:58PM
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ok here are the leaves. I was out in stealth mode after dark ;)





If it helps any, when the leaves started turning most of the tree was still green, and the first leaves that turned were a pretty dark almost burgundy dull red, and as time went on the leaves brightened/lightened up and got really intense in color.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 8:21PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

The growth habit and leaves look like those of one of the red maple/silver maple hybrids, sometimes called Freeman maple. A common cultivar is 'Autumn Blaze'. A google image search will show you many pictures.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 8:41PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I'd be 99% sure it's Acer x freemannii 'Autumn Blaze'.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 9:29PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Agree, its an Acer x freemannii cultivar.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:18AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you want a specific fall color tree ...

then you you buy it.. in fall color .. if its not too late ...

its perfect planting time in most of z5 ... maybe a bit late ...

but hit some tree farms .. NOW ... if its not too late ...

if you rely on bigboxstore in spring.. good luck with that ...

i am not familiar with illlini tree farms unfortunately ... shoot for 6 to 8 feet ....

at worst.. tag it for spring delivery ... if the job cant be done this week ...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 6:48AM
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we are in West Michigan actually. I didn't know I could go buy trees now for spring delivery....that's amazing. We definitely can't plant now as we are building a home and excavation is just getting started. The home is scheduled to finish sometime mid to end of June. I don't know at what point we will be able to plant trees in the the whole scheme of things. What are good planting months for zone 5 West Michigan for spring, and fall?

6-8 feet tall trees? ok. my husband will be happy to hear that, as I wanted to get some taller. Will they grow faster at the beginning? I want to enjoy some larger trees and I don't want to wait 10 yrs to see big beautiful trees. How big will a 6-8 foot tree be in 5 years?

thanks to everyone for helping me identify these trees. We have some mature oaks and walnuts and aspens on the back of our new property, but nothing with spectacular fall color. You guys really know your stuff- awesome!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:50AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am in adrian mi ...

prime planting time in MI ...

is ground thaw in late march ... minimum 6 to 8 weeks before leaf out ...


and late sept thru about now ... so this is your window of opportunity ... for next year ...

gee tree farm is just north of jackson MI ... off I-94 ... with a 15 acre arboretum .. and hundreds of acres of trees... it would be a brilliant trip ... NOW ...

call ahead... ask for cary ... and explain what you are looking for .. and ask if their field trees are still holding leaves.. and if you could mark some for next summer .. it might require a deposit ... and that is up to them ..... [i would have you mention my name.. but i dont know if it would be a positive.. lol ] .. make an appointment for someone with a golf cart to whisk you around the property ....

you might be able to find some out your way also ... google tree farms grand rapids ...

the larger the tree.. the more roots you cut off to transplant ... no tree will perform to expectations until it regrows its root mass .. so a larger tree.. will take years longer to recover ... smaller will get 'established' faster .. and can outgrow a larger specimen.. inside 5 years ..

not to mention.. if you are doing this yourselves.. how to move.. transport ... carry.. and plant.. a humongous ball and burlap.. sans heavy machinery ... i have tried that.. nearly ended up needing surgery .. not cool ...

my dichotomy.. is based on you doing it.. versus big checkbook professional installation ... its not that it cant be done... its what can be done in your budget ....

i am impressed you are so far ahead of the curve... usually peeps want instant gratification.. rather than planning a year out ...

should you be thinking of doing this yourself.. read.. digest. and commit to memory.. EVERYTHING at the link ... doing it the right way... really matters ....


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i know her dad visits GW infrequently ... inferring that they are aware of GW .....

if you can get her to look at your post.. she might ID in a blink of an eye ... and tell you if they have them.. and if not.. why not ....

my point in all this.. is to get you away from thinking bigboxstore ...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:24AM
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thanks so much for the info Ken, I'll look into the tree farm you recommended. I did call Countryside in Allendale and they have no inventory left but assured me that Autumn Blaze, October something, etc are mainstays in their inventory starting in mid April.

I do not anticipate planting these ourselves as it will be a very busy time in selling our current house and getting the new house done. We'll have to bite the bullet and pay for professional installation. Not to mention I want a complete landscape plan with the tree locations harmonious to the rest of it. Not that we will do all the landscaping at once, but trees come first as they take the longest to mature. I'm generally patient with landscaping.

The autumn blazes do really well out here, just beautiful fall color. I'd love to throw in another tree with more orangey yellow/gold too.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:33AM
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by bigboxstore do you mean like Countryside? I'm not sure what exactly qualifies as bbs?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:36AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Big Box Store = Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

Ken makes excellent points. Including that often forgotten point that, even if you can manage to buy a very large transplant & nurse it along, you can't possibly move this 500 pound behemoth on your own & plant it yourself to begin with...then have to rely on the nursery to plant it, and it's a crapshoot whether the guys they send out to plant it actually know what the he** they're doing anyway.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:47AM
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well then who am I supposed to have plant it? I thought the nursery would plant it (not a big box store type, but a local or regional type)? No? Who do you recommend I have plant them?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:02AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Educate yourself on proper planting, and then be there when it is planted to make damn sure it's done right. Don't be shy about it, and don't let them talk you into anything. IMHO 9/10 trees planted by "Professionals" are improperly planted by "Monkeys with a shovel". There are people that truly know what they are doing, but that is the exception. More typically, its the cheapest option, and someone that has little or no education as to proper method. Lastly, whatever you plant, soil conditions will be critical. If the soil is packed hard as rock during construction, then this MUST be addressed BEFORE planting. Plus site conditions of wet, soil type, compaction, etc etc must be taken into consideration. You must educate yourself, and the people here will be happy to help you.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:20AM
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OK that sounds good. I will start tomorrow by picking the tree guys brain when we go over tree removal tomorrow. I'll let him know my goals for tree planting for next year and get some info about our soil conditions (they are a little tricky because some areas are heavy sand and others have more clay). I do not know the alkalinity of the soil. The lot is large (2acres) so we should be able to find good spacing away from house and septic.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:48AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the tree removal guy may or may not be a tree planting expert ...

but he might know a few local guys with supreme knowledge ...

study the link i gave you.. and decide if you can or want to do it yourself...

call your county extension office.. they can generally tell you your soil conditions .. like extreme pH .. and will offer soil tests if they think its imperative ...

some areas over your way are blueberry country.. in that area.. soil ph might be an issue ....

the root issue with bigboxstore is quality of the plant... if its labeled correctly.. and if you buy it fresh off the truck.. or after it has been sitting all summer on a blacktop ...

there are some wonderful botanical gardens out GR way ... and you should spend some time walking thru labeled collections to learn about what is possible ...

forget about tagging plants this fall.. you simply are not ready for it ....

i will yell ...:


nothing kills large mature trees left behind at construction ..... faster than large machines driving into the property.. to level.. dig basements... deliver cement ... etc ...

i cant tell you how many posts.. over the years.. where peeps cut in a driveway and leave all these trees.. only to have them die.. 5 or so years later .... there is a real science to picking and choosing and limiting damage ...

start a new post if that is a new issue ...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:36AM
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yes we are just at the tree clearing stage. I'll post the survey in a new thread, but I'm not sure what info to include that's helpful.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 1:48PM
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