Red Maple

Scientific Name: Acer Rubrum

Red Maple

The red maple tree grows in zones 3 to 9, the red maple tree is deciduous, and it loses its leaves every year in the fall then grows new leaves in the spring. The red maple tree grows at a moderate to rapid rate. The red maple tree grows best in bright sun to partial shade. The red maple tree will grow in a range of soil types from sandy loam to clay. Better soil will result in a better healthier tree. 

The red maple tree is considered a medium texture tree. The red maple tree is pyramidal shape when young. The structure when young is ascending branches with an irregular rounded crown. Later when the tree matures it will attain a larger more rounded crown.

The red maple tree will grow to a size of 40 to 60 ft. The red maple tree will reach a width of 25 to 45 ft.

The red maple tree leaves are 2 to 5" opposite, simple leaf with 3 to 5 lobes; often triangular shape; variability fall color from tree to tree - yellow, yellow-green, orange to red. The variability fall color can be observed on large stands growing on hill sides. Some trees will attain bright red color while some will be more yellow or orange.

The red maple tree has small red flowers in dense clusters that occur in late winter to early spring.

Red Maple Comments: 

The red maple tree naturally occurs in low wet sites. The tree has some air pollution tolerance. It is one of the first trees to show fall color. It has a wide variation due to seedlings. The red maple tree thought to be easy to transplant when young.

Red Maple Problems:

The Red Maple some times has relatively weak wood and thus can be subject to storm and ice damage.  Iron chlorosis (yellowing leaves) can be a problem in soils with a high pH level. Consult local nurserymen or ag extension departments as to red maple problems common in your area.

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Red Maple Cultivars: See below

Red Maple Cultivars


50 to 70' by 15'

Columnar to fastigate

Upright, silvery gray bark; modest orange red fall color

Autumn Flame

55' by 45'

Broadly rounded when young

Rapid grower; bright red fall color; develops color early; smaller leaves than species

Autumn Radiance


Broadly oval; dense

Orange red fall color

Autumn Blaze

50' by 40'

Oval rounded with ascending branches

5 lobes resembling silver maple; excellent orange red fall color that holds well; one of the best red maples for fall color


50' by 15 to 30'

Conical to upright

Yellowish red fall color

Burgundy Belle

45' by 35'

Compact oval to rounded

Very uniform shape; intense , long lasting red to burgundy fall color


70' by 15'

Narrow columnar to pyramidal

Dark green leaves in summer; orange to deep red fall color



40' by 35'

Rounded oval crown; 45 degree branches

Dark green in summer; orange red fall color; not as good fall color as some other cultivars

October Brilliance

40' by 30'

Tight crown

Red fall color; slow to leaf out in spring

October Glory

40 to 60' by 50'

Rounded oval

Lustrous dark green in summer; intense red to orange fall color; late to develop; excellent color for the south

Red Sunset

60' by 50'


Thrives in heat; drought tolerant; brilliant orange red fall color; vigorous, rapid grower

Scarlet Sentinel

50' by 25'

Columnar to oval rounded

Rapid grower; yellow orange to orange red fall color; 5 lobes - resembling silver maple


60 to 70'


Rapid grower; rich red to reddish purple fall color; develops color early and holds for long time

Shade King

50' by 40'

Upright oval

Dark green summer color; red to orange fall color; rapid grower

V.J. Drake


Outside of leaf colors deep red and progresses towards center of leaf



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