Acer rubrum or red maple tree (also swamp, soft or water maple) has flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds that are at least somewhat red and is best recognized for its brilliant deep red foliage in fall. It can be found growing in or near swamps, in dry soils and just about every environment in between.
- Alternate Common Name: Swamp maple; water maple; soft maple
- Average Height: Red maple trees are medium to large sized trees that can reach 60 to 90 feet in height, even growing as tall as 115 feet.
- Average Width: The diameter of the acer rubrum trunk can be anywhere from 18 to 30 inches.
- Leaf Description: Red maple tree leaves are arranged oppositely on the twig. Typically, they are 2-4 inches long. Red maple tree leaves have palmate lobes with a serrated margin.
- Bark Description: Acer rubrum bark is pale grey and smooth when the tree is immature. As it matures, the bark becomes darker and cracks into raised long plates.
- Twig Description: Often reddish in color and have a little shine. Dwarf shoots may be found on many branches.
- Flowering: Flowers on red maple trees are generally unisexual. Male and female flowers appear in separate sessile clusters. They appear in spring.
- Needle or Broadleaf: Broadleafed
- Comments: Identify red maple tree sources for northern climates. Southern sources may not be hardy.