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Acer glabrum

Common Name(s):
Douglas maple, Greene's maple, New Mexico maple, Rock maple, Rocky maple, Rocky mountain maple, Torrey maple
Native Plants, Shrubs, Trees

A deciduous shrub or small shade tree with smooth bark in the Aceraceae family.  Grows well in a woodland garden.  Prefers dappled shade, moist soils, and protection from the wind.  It is primarily grown for its ornamental red fruit and has interesting red twigs and stand out yellow-to-red fall color.  This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring.   Works well for erosion control.

Seasons of Interest:

    Foliage:  Fall, yellow to red  Fruit: Late summer, red samara  Twigs: Winter, red

Wildlife Value:  Food and shelter for wildlife.

Play Value: Wildlife Enhancement

Notes: Multi-trunked 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No signifigant insect or disease problems.  Can show chlorosis of the leaves (yellowing) in alkaline (basic) soils.  Applying a layer of mulch around the root zone in summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect the roots in exposed locations or colder microclimates. 

Alternative plants: Acer rubrum

12-40 ft.
Lobed leaves green most of the year turn yellow to brick red in the fall.
Green, insignificant flowers in April, which are pollinated by insects and followed by showy red winged samaras in late summer. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required).
Can withstand sandy, loamy, and heavy clay soils, prefers well-drained soil and needs lots of organic matter and a low pH (acid). It preforms best in semi-shade (light woodland) to shade. It prefers moist soil. It will benefit from being planted in a location sheltered from strong winds, frost, and afternoon sun.
Rounded, upright, spreading
Full sun to light shade
15 ft.
Growth Rate:
shade garden, erosion, small tree, low maintenance, deciduous, fall foliage, fall color, winter interest, play, playground, butterflies, fall interest, shade tree, woodland garden, food, habitat, wildlife, children’s garden, clay soil

NCCES plant id: 3180

Acer glabrum var. diffusum Acer glabrum var. diffusum, smooth bark
Stan Shebs, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer glabrum var. diffusum Acer glabrum var. diffusum, form
Stan Shebs, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer glabrum Leaf
Walter Siegmond, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer glabrum var. diffusum Acer glabrum var. diffusum, flower
Stan Shebs, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Acer glabrum var. diffusum Acer glabrum var. diffusum, red samara
Stan Shebs, CC-BY-SA-3.0