inconspicuous; blooms before leaves emerge in spring
30 to 40 ft.
30 to 40 ft.
Eastern North America
USDA zones 3-9
hardy to 7,000 ft.
Red maple is a medium-size shade tree with an oval to round crown and upright grey branches. It is primarily grown as a shade tree with a medium growth rate. Because it requires regular irrigation, it is a good choice for planting in a lawn. Although it has tiny clusters of flowers, they are not noticeable. Its most ornamental feature is its shiny green, pointed leaves which turn bright red to yellow in fall.
Red maple grows best in soils with a pH of 7.4 or less. If the soil pH is higher, which is common in Colorado's Front Range, red maple will develop iron cholorosis and never become a vigorous, beautiful shade tree. If you're unsure of your soil's pH, it's worth having it tested at a professional soil testing lab before planting red maple.
Red maple will not grow well in dry, hot locations.
Red maple is not grown at the Xeriscape Garden, but can be found throughout Colorado Springs. It seems to perform best when planted in large lawns that are watered regularly. Its fall color is quite beautiful. Will not grow well in high pH soils or very low water areas.
Prune when young to develop a structurally strong tree. Prune out any dead or damaged wood as needed. If aphids become a problem on the leaves of young trees, they can be rinsed off with blast of water from a hose.