I’ve already compared Autumn Blaze to another red maple, but today it’s time to put it up against Redpointe Maple, which is a worthy competitor. The increased attention to red maples is not surprising at all because of their great looks.
The main difference is that Redpointe Maple tolerates alkaline soils better, while Autumn Blaze can get chlorosis in such soils. Redpointe Maple is also more disease-resistant than Autumn Blaze. As for growing conditions, Redpointe Maple is more heat-loving and Autumn Blaze is more tolerant of low temperatures. Also, the sun needs are different for these maples, Redpointe Maple needs 8 hours of direct sun, and Autumn Blaze needs only 6 hours.
Autumn Blaze is a hybrid maple, obtained by crossing Red Maple and Silver Maple. Therefore, this variety can be seen as the heir to all the features of the parent plants. Redpointe Maple is a more refined variety that shares the same ancestry as its competitor. It was obtained by hybridization in Oregon in 2006.
|Redpointe Maple||Autumn Blaze Maple|
|USDA Hardiness zone||5-9||3-8|
|Mature height||45′ (13,5 m)||45′ (13,5 m)|
|Mature width||30′ (9 m)||30′ (9 m)|
|Growth rate||1-2′ (30-60 cm) per year||<24” (60 cm) per year|
|Leaves||3” (7.5 cm) across, green, red||3” (7.5 cm) across, green, red|
|Light exposure||Full sun||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil||moist, clay, sandy, loam||moist, clay, sandy, loam|
|Watering||1-2 times per week in a drought||1-2 times per week in a drought|
Redpointe Maple tolerate alkaline soil
One of the problems of growing red maples is their poor tolerance of alkaline soils. If the pH is higher than 7, the maple will not grow normally, it will develop chlorosis and the leaves will be yellow.
This is typical of Autumn Blaze Maple. In alkaline soil, it will not have beautiful leaves. In the summer heat, the leaves, yellow from chlorosis, will burn.
Redpointe Maple is the exact opposite of Autumn Blaze in this regard. It is perfectly tolerant of soil with a pH above 7 and even approaching 8. And the leaves stay bright green. If you have alkaline soil in your yard then you should definitely go with Redpointe Maple.
Although here I have to say that most soils are neutral. But still, if you want to have Autumn Blaze and the soil is alkaline you need to add some peat to the planting hole. Also, mulch the root zone with compost, it makes the soil a little acidic.
Redpointe Maple is more resistant to pests and diseases
Redpointe has a stronger immune system that protects it from diseases and pests. This is especially true of anthracnose, a fungal disease that affects maple leaves. As a result, the leaves are covered with brown dry spots.
Another thing that is not a problem in this maple is leafhoppers. These insects can cause significant damage to foliage. The tree will look terrible as a result of their activity.
But Redpointe has no defense against the spider mite. Whichever variety you choose, you will still need to deal with this pest. The best remedy against mites is acaricides.
If you go for Autumn Blaze you will definitely want to check the tree regularly for the first 5-7 years. As soon as you notice pests or spots on the leaves, you will need to spray the tree with an insecticide or fungicide, depending on what you are dealing with.
Autumn Blaze is more hardy
Autumn Blaze is a hybrid of two maple species which means it is a tougher tree. As a result, this maple has better cold climate hardiness and can be grown in 3-8 USDA hardiness zones.
Redpointe is more delicate and is not recommended north of zone 5. This means that some U.S. homeowners won’t be able to have it. But it does tolerate southern climates better. You can grow Redpointe in zones 8 and 9 while Autumn Blaze is not available in zone 9, and may struggle in zone 8 as well.
From all this, it follows that if you live in the northern USA or Canada, Autumn Blaze is a better choice. For the Central and Southern U.S., you’re better off with Redpointe.
Redpointe needs more sun
A small advantage of Autumn Blaze is that it can grow in full sun as well as in partial shade. This is important because it is not always possible to plant a tree in full sun. This tree needs at least six hours of light time to look good and grow properly.
Redpointe needs full sun. With partial shading, it may have fewer leaves. The crown will be looser and the branches will be elongated and brittle. But it is actually a big enough tree that it is difficult to shade it. Most of the time it will get 10-12 hours of sun and that’s enough.
The important thing here is that Redpointe can tolerate full southern sun and will do well. Whereas Autumn Blaze can get leaf burn in zone 8 with too much sun.
Similarities between Redpointe Maple and Autumn Blaze Maple
Now it’s time to talk about what is similar between Redpointe and Autumn Blaze. Although at first glance it seems less important than the first part of the article, knowing all the characteristics will help you make the right choice.
The first thing we have in common is size. Both of these maples are 45 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Under ideal conditions, the size can be even larger. The growth rate is fast and is 1 to 2 feet per year. Redpointe Maple grows slightly slower, as Autumn Blaze annual growth can sometimes exceed 2 feet.
From the size, we can deduce that their crown shape is pyramidal. This looks especially beautiful in the fall. The branches are quite strong and can withstand a relatively wide canopy of foliage.
The next common feature is the leaves. These two have leaf 3 inches across, which is not much compared to other maples, but the size is compensated for by a large number of leaves. The number of lobes is from three to five.
The color of the leaves is green in spring and summer. Redpointe Maple is slightly darker than Autumn Blaze. The most interesting thing begins in the fall, during this time the leaves are colored in different shades of red, which is a truly fabulous spectacle.
Red maples need a lot of water because the evaporation area is very large. This is also true for our maples. The best place to plant is where the soil is always slightly moist, but stagnant water can cause root rot.
You should definitely water them for 1-2 years after planting in dry weather. The amount of water should be 1-3 gallons depending on the size of the plant.
When the maple is rooted, you can stop watering. But if you want to get a big tree faster, you need to water it in the 3rd and 4th year or even longer. In this case, it makes sense to install drip irrigation.
Although both varieties are quite vigorous, you can speed up their growth to get a nice, big tree faster. Fertilization should be started in the second year after planting in early spring.
The first thing you need to do is to mulch the surface around the maple tree with compost. Compost is a good organic fertilizer and will hold soil moisture longer.
Next, apply a slow-release fertilizer to the root zone. Choose a fertilizer with a balanced amount of all necessary elements.