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Red Maple

Acer rubrum

The red maple, also called swamp maple, has a pyramidal shape when young, but as the tree matures, becomes rounded. They grow rapidly to 60' — 80' and about 45' wide. Red maples are one of the most popular landscape maples. Lives up to 200 years. Can be moved up to 12" in diameter.

In the wild, red maples usually inhabit wet areas and partly shaded woodlands. In the spring small, bright red flowers cover the silvery branches before the leaves first appear. Leaves are 2" — 4" wide, the dark green leaves are gray-green on their under side and change to a variable combination of red and yellow in early fall.

Autumn colors vary from tree to tree due to differences in soil and local micro-climates found in the landscape. The red maple tree is a fast growing tree without the most of the bad habits of fast growing trees. It quickly makes shade without the compromise of becoming brittle and messy compared to the silver maple trees.

Red maples made good shade or street trees, however surface roots may interfere with the lawn. They are best planted in full sun, but will tolerate partial sun in a wide range of soils. Red maple trees do not tolerate salt, so caution should be taken when planting along streets that often get salted during the winter.

Red maple trees are prolific seed producers may pose a problem with large numbers of germinating weed-seed saplings. There are seedless varieties of red maple so it might be wise to check on these varieties first.

Distribution of the Red Maple

The range of this member of the Aceraceae family is found throughout the entire east coast from south east regions of Manitoba east to Newfoundland, south to southern Florida and west to eastern Texas.


Red Maple