Celebration® Maple

Acer x freemanii ‘Celzam’

Description & Overview

Celebration® Maple is a fast growing, seedless selection of Freeman Maple. Its naturally symmetrical habit with strong, open branching structure is well-suited for street and residential use. Crisp green foliage turns an attractive golden-yellow with red hues in fall. Introduced by Lake Country Nurseries.

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Variety of North American Native
Mature Height: 40-50 feet
Mature Spread: 20-35 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Upright, Compact
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Tolerant of many sites
Flower: Insignificant, petite red clusters
Bloom Period: April
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: Golden Yellow with Red
Fruit Notes: Samara, mostly seedless

Suggested Uses:

Celebration® Maple is slightly narrower than other Freeman Maple cultivars although not in-league with upright trees like Crimson Spire Oak or Armstrong Maple. It possesses better structure than Autumn Blaze® Maple with more open branch angles and a better-defined central leader. Use Celebration® Maple as an accent or shade tree, or as a component of a mixed border where there is enough space.

Wildlife Value:

Birds will nest in the branch crotches of Celebration® Maple and eat insects that feed on the tree’s foliage.

Maintenance Tips:

Like all Freeman Maples, Celebration® Maple has thin bark and will require winter protection from buck rub. Only use tree guards from Halloween through Memorial Day; any longer and you can cause damage to the trunk. Using a large mulch ring will prevent mechanical damage to the trunk from lawn equipment.

The tree is somewhat drought tolerant during the growing season once established, but be sure to water well during the first year to establish a healthy root system. Mulch will assist with keeping soils cool, moist, and easy for new roots to establish in.


Like all maples, Celebration® Maple can develop Tar Spot fungus (Rhystima spp.), which is purely cosmetic and unlikely to cause any lasting damage to the tree. As the disease is vectored by birds, there is little you can do to prevent it.

Suckering may be present on old pruning wounds or damaged trunks. While this is best avoided by having a professional arborist care for your tree, suckers can be pruned as they appear to slow/stop their presence. Take care to avoid damaging the trunk tissue as this will cause even more suckers to appear.

Leafhopper, scale, and other insects can feed on the leaf tissues of Celebration® Maple. If excessive damage is observed, or you see individual branches dying (also called Flagging), contact a certified arborist to develop a plant health management plan. Flagging can be a sign of fungal diseases like Verticillium Wilt, which are best diagnosed by a professional.

We invite you to check out the Arborist For Hire lookup at the Wisconsin Arborist Association website to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you.

Leaf Lore:

Freeman Maples are noted for their fast growth, uniform habit, and reliable fall color. However, these trees have been heavily planted in the last 30 years since the introduction of the original Autumn Blaze® Maple (US Plant Patent 4864) in 1980. While the trees have beautiful fall color, please consider diversity when selecting them for planting. If you or your neighbors already have a Freeman Maple cultivar in the landscape, it is recommended to pick a different, non-maple (Acer) species for your landscape. Remember, Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease were problematic because we relied on only one tree for our boulevards. Let’s not make the same mistake with Freeman Maples.

Celebration® Maple is a selection from Lake Country Nursery in Ohio. Although the tree hails from a more southern locale, it has performed well in our winters and severe weather conditions like heavy snow loads and winds with few issues.

Companion Plants:

The average texture and two-tone fall color of Celebration® Maple will pair nicely with other complementary trees. Consider using J.N. Strain Musclewood and Ironwood as smaller stature, finer-textured trees and Katsura Tree and Bur Oak as larger complements in the landscape. The mulch ring can be planted with low, clumping perennials like Coralbells or Hostas, but be sure not to damage the roots of an established tree when planting in their root zones.

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johnson's nursery plant knowledgebase for the midwest tree logo popout 32x32