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Autumn Blaze Maple Root System – Are They Invasive?

The Autumn Blaze Maple trees, also known as the Freeman Maple, are known for their vibrant red color and beauty. They’re a cross between a Red Maple (Acer rubrum,) and a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum).

Since it is a cross between the two, while they get their quick growth rate from the Silver Maple, they get their stronger wood and beautiful color from the Red Maple.

The reason they’re also called the Freeman Maple is because these trees were first grown in the National Arboretum in 1933 by Oliver Freeman, and as a result, their wild specimens are found in North America, the place where both Silver Maples and Red Maples overlap.

Due to their size, they have an extensive and very strong canopy. Moreover, their root systems have a habit of remaining close to the surface of the soil. As a result, they grow through the soil’s surface and run alongside it.

Now, let us learn about the root system of the Autumn Blaze Maple trees and come across more interesting facts regarding the tree.

Autumn Blaze Maple Root System Explained

The roots of Autumn Blaze Maple trees are invasive, remain shallow, and grow horizontally—as most taproots do. They have strong roots that have the tendency to run across the surface of the soil, growing along with anything that comes their way and crossing the drip line of the canopy.

Plants mainly have two types of roots: tap root systems and fibrous root systems.

In a tap-root system, there is a primary center root. It branches out and other little roots known as “root hairs” appear as it does. 

Typically, it descends quite deep and expands more quickly than the trunk. All dicotyledons have a tap root system, including China rose, carrots, mustard, and other plants.

The roots of a fibrous root system are very thin, shallow, and slow-growing, remaining close to the surface rather than going deep. 

By remaining close to the surface, the roots develop a mat-like structure that helps them collect nutrients and water. All monocotyledons contain fibrous roots, including but not limited to rice, bananas, etc.

Although Autumn Blaze Maple trees have tap roots, they tend to remain closer to the soil surface and spread out horizontally rather than vertically, unlike most taproots. 

But, one characteristic that makes the Autumn Blaze Maple trees fall into the category of taproots is that they have very strong and thick roots.

 Due to this habit of these trees, the roots tend to grow out of the surface of the soil and damage anything above the ground. They grow rather quickly and extend almost beyond the drip line on the canopy. (It is the region that lies right beneath the outer branches of the trees.)

Does Autumn blaze maple have deep roots? 

No, the Autumn Blaze Maple trees do not have deep roots. Since all dicotyledons, like maple trees, have a tap root system, the autumn blaze maple trees also have them. 

These trees are excessively difficult to uproot because of their quick, wide, deep roots that continue to grow for many years. They can also withstand drought quite well.

While some maple trees have roots that go pretty deep into the soil, some prefer to remain shallow and spread horizontally instead. Autumn Blaze Maples prefer to grow roots that are shallow to the ground but spread widely.

Their shallow roots almost go beyond the dripline of the canopy, and the branches of these maple trees are already quite spread out, forming a canopy of 35-40 feet.

Moreover, as the trees grow, the roots come out of the surface and run across it.

How Deep Are Autumn blaze maple Roots? 

Autumn Blaze Maple trees have very shallow roots. As a result, their roots aren’t very deep. They are, on the other hand, very extensive and are said to cross the drip line of their canopy.

Taproots can be seen in Autumn Blaze Maple trees. The “Central Root,” the primary root of this system, expands more quickly than the tree branches do. Many lateral roots also appear as the tree ages, but the central root continues to be the largest and longest.

Since the roots of Autumn Blaze Maple trees spread out quickly and widely and have access to a large area of land, these trees typically tolerate drought.

The drawback in this situation is that these trees tend to prevent grass from growing around them or beneath them because of their roots’ growing on the surface.

These trees are quite powerful and spread out a lot since, according to the system, they have large, shallow roots. As a result, the surrounding pavement, roads, walkways, and foundations are constantly at risk of being harmed.

They pounce on pavements and pipes, break drainage systems, and spread their shallow roots in the shape of a thick fibrous net.

Do Autumn blaze maple spread or multiply?

Both above and below ground, the Autumn Blaze Maple tree has a propensity to spread widely. Because it is a hybrid of the Silver and Red Maple trees, the Autumn Blaze Maple tree has a deep root system.

When a tree reaches full maturity, it can reach heights of over 40–55 feet and have a branch spread of almost 30–40 feet, making it nearly twice as large as a two-story building. The roots can even reach the dripline of the canopy.

One can witness the Autumn Blaze Maple tree grow and reach its maximum size in one lifetime. The tree has large trunks and powerful roots that can spread quickly.

However, some people refer to the tree as “dangerous” because of this trait.

This is because the branches’ brittle nature causes them to occasionally break and collapse after widely spreading. Damage to structures like fences, houses, and other items may result from this.

As a result of its propensity to spread quickly, its structural fragility, and the fact that it can grow to almost double the size of a two-story building, the Autumn Blaze Maple tree is dangerous.

Are Autumn blaze maple Roots Invasive?

The Autumn Blaze Maple trees have one of the most invasive root systems in the world. It may be found on maple trees. Their shallow, robust roots can extend up to 30–40 feet from their point of emergence and strongly expose themselves to the soil’s surface.

The “Tap Root System” is the root system of the Autumn Blaze Maple tree. The main core root of this root system can penetrate the earth more than 75 feet deep and develop more quickly than the branches on the trunk.

Any tree, foundation, paving, or sidewalk is at risk of harm or having roots growing on them due to the strength and size of the taproots.

Due to its vast root system, the Autumn Blaze Maple tree’s root system is referred to as invasive. These roots have a thick, fibrous, nest-like structure and are shallow and widely dispersed.

Due to their extensive root systems, these trees are among the most invasive in the world.

In addition to emerging from the soil’s surface and causing damage to buildings, sidewalks, and pavements, they also prevent other trees from growing and absorbing a lot of nutrients and water. 

Their invasive nature frequently causes pavement, swimming pools, and other structures to break.

Can Autumn blaze maple roots damage foundation or pipes? 

Yes, because of its extensive root system, the Autumn Blaze Maple tree is infamous for its propensity to damage properties.

A mature Autumn Blaze Maple tree can reach a height of twice that of a two-story building, and its roots can extend up to 40 feet.

Therefore, it is important to be strategic while planting this tree and place it almost 30 feet or more away from any foundation, septic system, pipeline, and walkways. To be on the safe side, a large tree should be planted 30 meters away from any foundations.

These roots, which go by the name “taproots,” are often big and robust. 

The Autumn Blaze Maple tree’s roots spread widely and produce a powerful network of thick fibrous roots because they remain shallow, which causes them to wreak havoc on any nearby plants, paving, structures, or foundations.

Because it has harmed the foundations and pipes that are nine meters around them, the Autumn Blaze Maple tree has acquired the reputation as one of the most invasive trees in the world.

Final Thoughts 

The Autumn Blaze Maple, like almost all the maple variants out there, is invasive and tends to grow its roots closer to the surface of the soil, grow along the surface of the soil, and extend horizontally, almost crossing the dripline of the canopy, which is extended up to 30-40 feet.