Types of Red Maple Trees


In the fall, many of the maples turn to a brilliant scarlet or crimson color, hence the colloquial term "red maple." In reality, there are many species of maple, most of which turn red at harvest time, but several of the trees display a yellow ocher or bronze color. Among all the maples, there is one tree that is formally called the red maple, and its Latin name is Acer rubrum.

The Red Maple

  • The red maple (Acer rubrum) is a small maple that grows in moist locations near streams, bogs and marshes. Its height rarely reaches 50 feet, but its leaves can turn a very intense red, especially when it grows in a wet location. This tree is sometimes referred to as the swamp maple.

Similar Species

  • There are many species of maple trees. The mountain maple (Acer Spicatum) is considered a separate species even though it is very similar to the red maple (Acer rubrum). The canyon maple (Acer grandidentatum), the Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum) and the vine maple (Acer circinatum) are three species that are somewhat similar in size and shape.

Sugar Maple

  • This large, common maple of the Eastern woodlands produces the sweet sap that makes maple syrup. Its leaves often turn bright red in autumn, but the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is a much larger tree than the red maple.

Japanese Maple

  • The Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), a decorative import from Japan, not only has leaves that turn red in the fall, but it also has finely divided leaves that retain a dark hue of red throughout the growing season. This tree is a common ornamental plant.

Cultivated Varieties of Red Maple

  • Landscape designers and homeowners who wish to plant a red maple have more than a dozen varieties to chose from. With names like October Glory, Red Sunset, Autumn Flame and Florida Flame, the red maple is a popular choice for home planting.

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  • Photo Credit "It has begun..." is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Sabby3000 ::travel mode:: be back soon! (Sabrina Mae) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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