Hybrid plants combine the best features of both parents, while masking their weak points, and when it comes to shade trees, this is certainly true of the Celebration® Maple Tree. We see both the beauty, sturdiness and long-life of one parent, the red maple, and the rapid growth and cold-resistance of the other, the silver maple. When combined, a beautiful tree is the result, with a rapid growth rate, winter hardiness, beautiful form, and rich fall colors.
Growing Celebration Maple Trees
The Celebration Maple is truly a fast-growing tree. Growth of 5 feet per year is normal for at least the first 5 years, and that could be exceeded with good care. After that, it slows down to 1 to 2 feet a year, so that within a very short time the tree will be 25 feet tall, and within 20 years it will be 40 feet tall. A mature tree will reach about 55 feet in height, with a crown around 35 feet across – a spectacular specimen. This tree has a strong central leader, which is kept for many years, so it has a good vertical trunk running through it, with side branches coming off at around 45o, creating a strong structure not prone to breakage. While silver maple is known for splitting and breaking, the Celebration Maple is free of that problem, even though it grows as fast as a silver maple does.
The leaves are deeply lobed, normally into five lobes, but some leaves have only three. They resemble a silver maple much more than a red maple, and they are 3 to 6 inches wide and between 3½ and 4½ inches long. New leaves are a soft salmon-pink in spring, but they quickly turn a rich green for the summer. By mid-September the edges of the leaves will already be coloring, turning bright red, and by October the leaves will be in their full fall glory, glowing deep golden yellow, flushed with brilliant red. Although the tiny red flowers typical of maples may be seen in early spring, before the leaves, this tree produces no maple keys, so it does not drop a lot of mess on your lawn or patio or create unwanted seedlings in your beds – a great boon to easy gardening.
The Celebration Maple is a superb specimen for a lawn, where it will cast a broad shadow, shading you and your family during hot summer days. Plant a row along a driveway, or to mark the boundary of your property. Create a natural woodland in a large garden within in a few years with this tree and a selection of other deciduous trees. Add it to existing wooded areas, to enrich and enhance the fall display, and it can even be trimmed into a dense screen or tall hedge. Wherever you grow it, you will love this vigorous and easy tree, with its great beauty and fabulous fall colors. Always remember to allow enough room for the final size of a large tree. Plant at least 20 feet away from buildings, and 15 feet from your property boundary. Never plant this tree beneath power lines, or on top of sewer pipes and drains. Your trees will be with you for a long time, so take the time to consider where it should be, and where it can mature undisturbed into a perfect specimen. For screening, plant 8 to 10 feet apart, and for avenues plant 15 to 30 feet apart.
The Celebration Maple is hardy from zone 3 to zone 8, covering all but the very coldest and hottest parts of the country, and this adaptable tree can be grown almost anywhere. While very cold resistant, it also does well in heat and tolerates periods of drought well, as long as it has had a couple of years to become established. It thrives in most soils, even wet ones, making it very useful for low-lying damp areas, and along the edges of streams and lakes. Like other maples, it does not grow so well on alkaline soils, which may make the leaves turn yellow, with green veins, in the summer, and reduce the growth rate. We recommend the Princeton Elm Tree for alkaline soils, conditions where that grand tree will thrive. With its vigorous growth the Celebration Maple has few pests or diseases, and it is easy to grow almost anywhere, including tough urban locations.
History and Origins of Celebration Maple Trees
The Celebration Maple is a chance hybrid between the red maple (Acer rubrum), and the silver maple (Acer saccharinum). Both trees are native American maples, and their distinctive features are combined beautifully in their vigorous child. The original tree was found in 1967, by James Zampini, who spotted an unusual seedling among a batch of seedling silver maples, at Indian Point Farm, Perry, Ohio. Its hybrid nature was confirmed by electron microscope examination of the leaves, which show characteristics of both parent trees. The tree was named ‘Celzam’, and released by New Plants Inc., the R&D branch of the nursery. It was patented in 1990 (PP# 7,279, which expired in 2010), and released with the registered trademark Celebration®. Our trees are grown by rooting stem pieces, rather than by the grafting method, and this produces vigorous, fast-growing plants with strong roots and scar-free trunks. There is always a high demand for quality shade trees, and we know our stock will soon be gone, so order now, and plant a tree for the future – with such a fast grower it will be the very near future.