October Glory Maple vs. Autumn Blaze Maple
“October Glory” (Acer rubrum “October Glory), a cultivar of the red maple (Acer rubrum), and the hybrid “Autumn Blaze” (Acer x freemanii “Jeffersred”) both reveal spectacular red leaf, revealing striking fall color to a garden. They’re roughly the same dimensions, but while “October Glory” will climb in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, “Autumn Blaze” is limited to slightly colder USDA zones 3 through 8.
“October Glory” is a cultivar of the red maple. The patented cultivar “Autumn Blaze” was created by Glenn Jeffers in Ohio from the 1960s and produced by Poplar Farms, Inc. of Batavia, Illinois. The hybrid combines the crimson fall foliage of red maple with the capability of the silver maple (Acer saccharinum) to withstand drought.
“October Glory” has a rounded to oval crown and also rises from 40 to 50 feet with a 23- to 35-foot spread. “Autumn Blaze” rises rapidly — from 3 to 5 feet a year — considerably quicker than most red maples. It rises to 40 to 45 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide. Its rapid spring growth leaves extended red winter shoots that add landscape color in the winter. “Autumn Blaze” can be pruned to an upright or spreading form.
“October Glory” has attractive red flowers in the spring before its glossy, dark green leaves appear. The leaves, which have reddish stems, are 3 to 6 inches across with three to five lobes. They stay green longer than the majority of fluctuations of red maple, after which they change from orange to brilliant red. “October Glory” occasionally has both bright and orange red leaves on its divisions at the same time and their color is long-lasting. “Autumn Blaze” has insignificant flowers. Its medium green leaves have five lobes, deep red veins and reddish stems but at 3 to 4 inches wide, they’re smaller compared to “October Glory’s” leaves. The leaf bottoms are silvery, which makes them resemble leaves of the silver maple. The leaves turn orange then red in fall and their color is also long-lasting.
“October Glory” likes wet soil and will grow in most soil types though it can develop chlorosis, or deficiency of iron, in alkaline soil. It’s ideal to line roads in suburban and residential areas, though its shallow roots may buckle sidewalks and driveways and make it hard to mow lawns that are encompassing. It’s grown for shade on lawns, beside decks and lawns, on pavement strips and beside residential roads. Although “Autumn Blaze” works nicely flanking a street, it also has shallow roots and has to be implanted with loads of space. It may tolerate such adverse sites as wet and dry soil and soil with high clay content, and it may survive both cold and dry climates.