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Acer rubrum

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Kemper Code:  J170

Common Name: red maple
Zone: 3 to 9
Plant Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern and central North America
Height: 40 to 70 feet
Spread: 30 to 50 feet
Bloom Time: March - April   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Red, sometimes yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low


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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, but prefers moist, slightly acid conditions. Very cold hardy.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Red maple is a deciduous, native Missouri tree which will typically grow 40-60' tall with a rounded to oval crown. In northern states, red maple usually occurs in wet bottomland, river flood plains, and wet woods, but in Missouri it typically frequents drier, rocky upland areas. Leaves are shiny green above and pale green beneath, 3-5 lobed and 3-6" across. Species name of rubrum (meaning red) is everywhere in evidence: red flowers in dense clusters in late March to early April (before the leaves appear), red fruit (initially reddish, two-winged samara), reddish stems and twigs, red buds, and, in the fall, orange-red foliage color. Quality of fall color may vary considerably. Many cultivars with excellent, more reliable fall color are available. Grows faster than Norway and sugar maples, but slower than silver maple. Sap of this tree can be used to make a maple syrup that is inferior in quality to syrups made from the sugar maple.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

Leaf hoppers can cause substantial damage.

Uses:

Plant as a specimen tree for the lawn, street or park. It is of note that this tree has a shallow, flattened root system that may buckle nearby sidewalks or driveways if planted too close.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011


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