Red Maple - <em>Acer rubrum</em> - Zone 3a -

Red Maple - Acer rubrum - Zone 3a

The Red Maple is a medium sized deciduous tree native to eastern North America. They are very easy to grow and add a spectacular splash of colour to any autumn landscape.

1-3 Feetsold-out$20.00$0.00

The Tree

The fast growing Red Maple is the most widespread and commonly occurring forest tree in North America. They can reach heights of 35 metres and diameters of up to 90 cm. They feature narrower canopies than their cousin the Sugar Maple, generally not exceeding 10 metres and have life spans usually topping out at 150 years. Bark is smooth and light grey on young trees and begins to darken and form ridges and furrows as trees age. Young twigs and the buds exhibit a reddish colour that helps distinguish it from most other Maples. Leaves are similar in overall shape to sugar maple but more rounded and generally turn to a brilliant red or occasionally orange or yellow in autumn. Red Maples are extremely adaptable to all light and soil conditions; they can thrive in more or less any situation but prefer a humid soil and are even capable of surviving heavy flooding as well as planting in heavy clay soils. They have very shallow root systems that will often emerge above soil’s surface by maturity. This can cause heaving and cracking of sidewalks or driveways and should be taken into account when choosing a site for planting.

Its Uses

Red Maple trees are widely appreciated as a landscape tree for their fast growth, the shade provided by their canopies and their brilliant fall foliage. Their high tolerances to road salt and air pollution make them a better choice than other maples for urban planting. They are commonly used in landscaping for lawns or parks where there is plenty of room for their shallow and horizontal root systems to spread without causing damage.  These shallow and extensive roots also make them an excellent choice for erosion control. Red Maple sap is used to make syrup like the Sugar Maple but has lower sugar content and a shorter period of production. Early pioneers used the bark of these trees to make ink and dyes. Red Maple lumber is not as valued as the harder wood of the Sugar Maple but it is nonetheless widely used for a vast array of products. They’re a great tree for those who want to attract wildlife as they are a popular source of food and habitat for a wide range of species.

Height at maturity35 metres (115 feet)
Spacing10 metres (30 feet)
Hardiness zone3a
SoilAny soil, preferably humid
Sun / shadeAdaptable, tolerant of shade
Average fruit weightn/a
Fruit colorn/a
Years to bear fruitn/a
Latin nameAcer rubrum
Average diameter of fruitn/a
Also known asSwamp maple, Water maple, Soft maple