Redpointe Maple and Autumn Blaze Maple trees are both descendants of Red Maples. They are closely related, so naturally, they have many things in common. However, they grow in different parts of the U.S. and have slightly different growing requirements.
Redpointe Maples grow much better in the south, while Autumn Blaze Maple trees are better suited for the north. Other differences include the soil type, sunlight needs, and how they grow.
If you’re interested in planting a Red Maple tree, it’s essential to understand these two types and know which tree will be best for your space. Keep reading to learn more about these magnificent Maples!
Redpointe Maple vs. Autumn Blaze Maple at a Glance
|Redpointe Maple||Autumn Blaze Maple|
|Botanical Name||Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’||Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’|
|Bred From||Red Maple and Autumn Blaze Maple||Red Maple and Silver Maple|
|Leaves||3″ wide, green in summer and red in the fall||3″ wide, green in summer and bright red in the fall|
|Size||40 to 45′ long by 30′ wide||40 to 45′ long by 30′ wide|
|Growing Zones||5 to 9||3 to 8 a|
|Growing||Fast grower and highly disease resistant||Fast grower and tolerant of air pollution|
|Soil Type||Slightly acidic to alkaline||Slightly acidic|
|Sunlight Needs||Full sun||Full to partial sun|
About Redpointe Maple Trees
Redpointe Maples are related to Red Maple Trees but are a specific cultivar of Red Maples and shouldn’t be confused as being the same tree.
Red Maple trees were bred with Autumn Blaze Maples by J. Frank Schmidt to create the hybrid Redpointe Maple. They thus have similar looks, but Redpointe Maples have greater resiliency. This is why Redpointe and Autumn Blaze Maples are very similar and look almost alike.
There are a few differences in their looks, but it often takes careful analysis to differentiate the two.
About Autumn Blaze Maples Trees
Bred from Red and Silver Maple trees, autumn Blaze Maples is also a cultivar of Red Maples.
Autumn Blaze Maple trees can grow almost anywhere in the U.S. except for the far south, so these trees can be found all over the country.
Red Maples are native to North America and can grow in the wild, but most Autumn Blaze Maple trees are grown for landscaping for homes or parks.
Redpointe Maple and Autumn Blaze Maple look very much alike and share almost all the same characteristics when looking at them.
They’re both medium to large trees with a big crown that grows in a pyramid shape. The branches on these trees are robust and can support a full, dense crown.
The leaves are also very similar on both trees. The leaves are 3 inches wide, which is relatively small compared to most Maple tree leaves.
However, these trees compensate for their smaller leaves by having a lot! Both Redpointe Maple and Autumn Blaze Maples produce tons of leaves when they’re in full health.
The leaves appear on the tree in the spring in bright green, lasting all through the summer. The leaves turn orange and bright red throughout the fall before dropping in the winter when temperatures get low. Redpointe Maples usually have slightly darker red fall foliage.
Redpointe and Autumn Blaze Maples usually grow to the same size, about 40 feet tall. However, this height depends a lot on the growing conditions. If conditions are ideal and the trees are completely healthy, they can grow to over 60 feet tall!
Before reaching 40 feet at their mature height, the trees will go through various growth stages, which can be confusing to determine their age.
Both trees produce a crown of about 30 feet wide at their mature size!
The regions where Redpointe Maple and Autumn Blaze Maple grow vary greatly.
Generally, Redpointe Maples are better for the southern states and warmer regions. Contrarily, Autumn Blaze Maples are better suited for colder climates.
Redpointe Maples can grow in zones 5 through 9 (one of the few Maple trees that can grow this far south in the U.S.), while Autumn Blaze Maples grow in zones 3 through 8. Autumn Blaze Mapes struggle in the hotter parts of zone 8 and are thus only a safe bet down to zone 7.
These trees are resistant to the cold and are an excellent option for those living further north or in regions with intense winters. Plus, they’re super tolerant of any humidity and can grow in climates with wet or dry winters.
Redpointe Maple vs. Autumn Blaze Maple: Growing
Another difference between Redpointe and Autumn Blaze Maples is disease resistance. Redpointe Maples are highly disease resistant and strongly tolerant against infections or pests common to Maple trees.
Anthracnose is a fungal disease that often forms on the leaves of Maple trees, covering the leaves and inhibiting the tree from receiving sunlight. Redpointe Maples have a strong tolerance against this fungus and seem to hardly ever host it.
There are also the Maple Leafhoppers which often attack Maple trees, eating all the leaves and making the tree seem bare and unhealthy. Yet, again, Redpointe Maples are great at keeping these pests away!
Autumn Blaze Maple trees, as with most Maples, are often affected by Maple leafhoppers or spider mites, so keep an open eye for these insects when caring for a Maple tree.
While Autumn Blaze Maples aren’t as disease-resistant, they strongly tolerate air pollution. They have been shown to grow well in urban neighborhoods or parks. This is fantastic, considering that places with air pollution need more trees!
Both Redpointe and Autumn Blaze Maples can grow over two feet per year. Still, Autumn Blaze sometimes grows slower and averages closer to one foot per year. However, compared to most other species of Maples trees, both are considered fast growers.
Keep in mind that fast-growing tees are often really weak on the inside because their branches grow so fast that they don’t have time to fully form or develop dense wood.
These trees usually don’t live for very long because they’re structurally weak and not internally strong.
Redpointe Maple vs. Autumn Blaze Maple: Soil Type
Soil type is another clear difference between Redpointe Maple and Autumn Blaze Maple. Generally, Maple trees grow best in slightly acidic soil and will have problems growing in soils with a pH of 7 or higher.
Redpointe Maples have a high tolerance for alkaline soils and are among a few Maple trees like this. Redpointe Maples can even grow in soil with a pH of 8, which would cause most Maple trees severe leaf loss.
For Autumn Blaze Maples, and most Maples in general, if the soil is too alkaline, the tree will experience chlorosis. This means the leaves will be more yellow and weaker, getting sunburnt easily.
As for soil composition, both trees do best in well-draining, moist, loam soil. Maple trees don’t handle soggy roots well! They can also grow in sandy or chalk soil, but what’s most important is that the soil drains excess water quickly.
And, of course, it always helps to add compost around the roots to provide extra nutrients and a light layer of mulch on the surface to hold in moisture.
Suppose you live in a drier region or are experiencing a dry spell. In that case, you’ll need to water your tree once or twice a week to ensure it’s receiving enough water. Maple trees, in general, don’t need much water and will be able to grow very well just with rainfalls.
In wintertime, there is no need to worry about this! These trees are dormant during the winter and thus don’t need any water. This applies even if there hasn’t been much rain or snow!
It’s essential, though, that you water consistently during the first one to two years of the tree’s life to help it get its roots established. It will need five to seven gallons of water per week for this period.
Once the tree has a healthy and robust root system, Maple trees are drought tolerant and can last through a dry period if need be.
Redpointe Maple vs. Autumn Blaze Maple: Sunlight Needs
The sunlight requirements also differ for each tree. Redpointe Maple trees need and thrive in full sun, whereas Autumn Blaze Maples can grow well in partial sun.
Autumn Blaze Maples still love full sun, but they only need around six hours a day and benefit from partial shade when growing in hotter climates. Redpointe Maples, on the other hand, need at least eight hours of direct sun.
If Redpointe Maples don’t get enough sunlight, they’ll have a hard time producing enough leaves, and the crown will look empty and weak. Plus, the branches will become brittle and could break easily.
However, considering these trees’ size, it’s pretty hard to cover them in the shade!
One thing to note that’s similar for both trees is that their trunks shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight because they get sunburnt quickly, which can cause suckers to form. Make sure to trim off only a few of the branches!
Fall Foliage for Everyone!
The most remarkable difference between Redpointe Maples and Autumn Blaze Maples is their tolerance for hot or cold temperatures and where you can grow them. The main factor determining if you should grow a Redpointe Maple or Autumn Blaze Maple is where you live, so that’s the most important thing to consider.
These trees grow in different regions, so there’s an option for almost any part of the U.S.!
Given that these trees look almost exactly alike if you find them beautiful and would like to plant a Red Maple, all you need to do is find out what growing zone you’re in! These fantastic trees don’t take much to take root and quickly provide a massive crown of stunning fall foliage.
- Discover The 11 Different Types of Maple Trees
- Discover the 10 Fastest Growing Shade Trees
- Why Do Leaves Change Color In the Fall?
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jeff Caverly/Shutterstock.com
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- World of Garden Plants, Available here: https://worldofgardenplants.com/redpointe-maple-vs-autumn-blaze/
- iTrees, Available here: https://itrees.com/redpointe-red-maple.html
- The Spruce, Available here: https://www.thespruce.com/autumn-blaze-maple-trees-2132093