Freeman maples are fast-growing crosses between silver and red maples. They are some of the most commonly planted shade trees because of their deep red fall color that develops later than other maples. They can tolerate tough conditions and some drought. Use mulch to prevent winter dieback from temperature fluctuations. Autumn Blaze is the most popular Freeman cultivar. It forms a dense oval shape with ascending branches. It turns color earlier in the fall than other Freeman cultivars with consistent red color. It is hardy and tolerant of alkaline soils.