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Red Maple   arrow

Acer rubrum (ay’-sir ru’-brum)
Family: Sapindaceae, Soapberry

Key Steps


Red Maple leafLeaf: Usually 3 lobes, rarely 5. Base of middle lobe is wide. Sinuses are slightly toothed and not deep. Bright green above, light silvery gray and hairy veins beneath. Petioles often red.

Bud: Rounded and slightly hairy bud scale margins. Round flower buds are clustered, bright red.

Leaf Scar: Narrow.

Stem: Slender, bright red in winter, greenish-red in summer. Older stems grayish. Stems do not smell.

Pith: Solid, white.

Bark: Young: smooth, light gray. Older: dark gray and rough; does not flake off as much as silver maple.

Flower: Red, blooming before leaves appear. Short dense clusters. Petals.

Fruit: 2-3 inch long double samara, wings spreading at 60° angle.

Habit: Large shade tree, spreading branches, to 40+ feet tall.

Culture: Due to iron chlorosis (yellowing of leaves with veins remaining green) avoid planting on alkaline soils. High moisture preferred.