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Acer rubrum

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser ROO-brum
Description

Red Maple is a deciduous tree that may grow 40 to 120 feet tall but is usually less than 40 feet.   It grows faster than Norway and sugar maples, but slower than silver maple. The leaves are opposite, with 3-5 palmate lobes and toothed margins on long red stems.  The red maple has a slightly smaller leaf than most other species of maples. Its leaves' most distinctive feature is a rough, saw-like edge. If the leaf margin, or edge, of your maple's leaves appear serrated, it is probably a red maple. The bark of young trees is smooth, silvery-gray becoming scaly and dark with age.  Small, red flowers in clusters mature in late-winter and are one of the first trees to flower in early spring.  During spring, light brown or red-winged samaras mature.  In the fall the leaves turn orange-red fall through the brilliance of this color can vary among individual trees.

This tree is the best choice for a soft maple.  It makes an excellent, lawn, park, or street tree.  It has some tolerance to air pollution and transplants well when young.  

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves: Fall; Bloom: Winter/Early Spring; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Spring

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Canker, fungal leaf spot and root rots may also occur. Wind and ice can break branches. This tree has a shallow, flattened root system that may buckle nearby sidewalks or driveways if planted too close.

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#native#red#deciduous#fall color#large shade tree#yellow#birds#pollinators#specimen#wildlife plant#larval food#nectar plant#tsc#host#wet sites#cpp#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#native#red#deciduous#fall color#large shade tree#yellow#birds#pollinators#specimen#wildlife plant#larval food#nectar plant#tsc#host#wet sites#cpp#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    rubrum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    A larval host plant for caterpillars.  Flower nectar attracts bees and other pollinators.  Seeds are enjoyed by birds.  White-tailed deer browse twigs and leaves but this tree is moderately resistant to damage.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wind Screen
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire in landscape
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 120 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Variegated
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Winter
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    One of the first trees to flower in early spring.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Leaf Feel:
    Slippery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Palmately veined with 3 principal triangular lobes (sometimes 5 lobes with the two lower lobes being much smaller.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    Young bark is smooth and older bark is scaly with narrow ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Buds are red
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Urban Conditions
    Wet Soil