"The Tree of Calm" according to the ancients, except in the autumn when its bright yellow, orange, and red leaves create a spectacular display. The far-reaching rounded crown provides superb shade and excellent ornamentation. Will grow everywhere in the U.S. with adequate water.
Also known as the Scarlet Maple or Water Maple, this tree lives up to its name in every season. In the fall, its brilliant scarlet leaves are tinged with orange and yellow, and it produces one of the great autumn shows in forests throughout the east. Small but conspicuous clusters of ruby-red and orange flowers open in March or April considerably before the leaves appear. The leaves themselves are tinged with red, turning a brilliant deep green by mid summer. Its winged fruit and branches also have a reddish tint.
The Red Maple can attain a height of 125' with a 5' trunk diameter. It has a broad, round crown with a long clear trunk. Its easy to identify leaves are palm-shaped, simple, with 3-5 triangular lobes growing opposite each other. They are doubly toothed, about 3- 4 inches long and equally as wide. The male and female blossoms are often on the same tree but sometimes on different trees. Bark on the young tree is smooth, becoming gray and ridged with age. Birds, squirrels, and other small animals eat the fruit.
Red maple wood is hard, close grained, and tinged with red. It is valued for furniture, flooring, interior finishes, and gunstocks. Early settlers used the bark extract to make ink and dyes.
Natural Habitat of the Red Maple: Eastern and Midwest North America from Newfoundland to southern Florida. It has been widely planted throughout the west. Likes moist fertile soil. Adjusts well to harsh seasons.