Red Maple Tree Varieties: Features, Facts & More

Red Maple Trees
The Red maple is a North American native found widely in Canada and Eastern US. It is a tall Maple species, which reaches an average height of 70-feet or more. However, the Red maple tree full grown is typically between 30 to 100 feet.


Red maple is a beautiful tree that lives up to its name. Its red spring buds, attached to the red twigs, get a red seed structure, and it has an oval green crown. The Red maple tree leaf returns to its original crimson color during the fall.


Botanically called the Acer Rubrum, Red maple carries different common names – Water Maple, Soft Maple, Trident Red maple, Scarlet Maple, Drummond Red maple, Swamp Maple, and Carolina Red maple.


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Unfortunately, its wood is not as hard as the other varieties of maple, but it still finds heavy use in gunstocks and furniture. It thrives in USDA growing zones two to nine.


If we talk about how fast does a Red maple tree grow? It is not a slow or a fast-growing plant. You will see it growing moderately, but it offers a beautiful, sturdy shade. You will find it in large numbers in mixed deciduous forests.


Overall, maple is a visually appealing tree with a long lifespan. It usually lives between 60 to 90 years, but some survived two centuries. This guide will address the different types of Red maple trees and a lot more about them.


But, before discussing further about different types of red maple, understand about Red maple sapling and fertilizing Red maple trees. We will also look at identifying characteristics like Red maple tree flowers, leaves, and trunk.


How To Sapling The Red Maple?

A Red maple less than two years old is known as the Red maple tree sapling. Usually, the tree’s life cycle is quite delicate as the sapling tends to be killed or damaged easily, especially if you do not exercise due care.


But, when the sapling matures, it offers a visually stunning display. Before getting the sapling, you must understand that several concerns are associated with growing and planting Red maple trees.


They develop thick, strong roots above or near the soil surface. Even though they are not as invasive or destructive as the silver Maple trees, they potentially elevate the sidewalks. Some even make lawn maintenance a daunting task.


Moreover, if you run a lawn mower over them, it can rapidly damage the exposed roots. In addition, the thin bark might undergo damage from the flying debris and the string trimmers. It puts them at the risk of getting ingested by insects and diseases. Hence, buying a Red maple tree sapling is not always the best decision.


The problem does not end here. There is another dimension to the problem, which you will know about only later. Not all Red maples yield red foliage. Some may be orange or yellow, often disappointing for those expecting a crimson red, Red maple tree leaf. So, always buy the sapling from a local nursery after checking, if you want your plant to be red.


Exercise care when you buy the Red maple sapling:

  1. Buy strictly during the fall season, as you can see the foliage color before buying.
  2. Shop for a sapling growing from its roots, not a grafted tree, as that increases the risk of breakage.


Now, let us read about planting and fertilizing Red maple trees.


How To Plant A Red Maple Tree?

Did you buy your Red maple tree sapling from a mail-order company? If yes, it will come in a box as a bare root plant, with dry roots free from dirt. So, please get it out from the box, and start preparing the sapling for planting Red maple tree.


Firstly, lay the sapling on a floor, flat on the ground, and neatly spread its branches and roots. Then sprinkle some water on the plant. It hydrates the sapling and gives it the necessary strength for what’s to follow.


On the contrary, you can buy the sapling from a merchant or a local grower. But it will be full of dirt. So, keep it in the shade to prepare it for the above steps. How fast does a Red maple tree grow and yield Red maple tree flowers? It all depends on the maple care steps you take during the plantation.


Here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Look for a spot in your lawn or garden that receives partial shade or full sun.
  • The soil must be acidic to neutral as the Red maple tree does not thrive in alkaline soil. It can result in poor growth and sickly and pale leaves.
  • The area must be moist or wet naturally. If not, it demands regular irrigation across its life.
  • Follow the watering schedule and water it before the soil turns dry. Slow but deep watering is preferable to frequent light application. It results in deeper roots.
  • For the soil to retain water better, you can use an organic mulch layer of two to three inches.
  • You can use a general-purpose fertilizer in early spring for fertilization.
  • When you shop from a good local nursery, you may not have to prune after plantation.


When and How To Fertilize Your Red Maple?

Fertilizing Red maple trees are vital for their growth. During the spring, you should fertilize with NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer twice a month. You can reduce the frequency to only once a month in summer.


Once the Red maple tree leaves turn scarlet red, you can stop fertilizing. The color indicates the beginning of the dormant season.


During the growing cycle, you should water the sapling every week with about 1 ½ inch of water.


Things To Consider While Growing Red Maples – Indoor and Outdoor

How fast does a Red maple tree grow depends on the conditions to which you expose the plant. So, after planting your Red maple, please take adequate care measures. The plant needs the following to thrive.


1. Sunlight

Most red maples love full sun, but they can do well in partial shade too.


2. Soil

There are different types of Red maple trees, but they all prefer acidic to neutral soil. The plant will not thrive in alkaline conditions. Even though the plant adapts to different soil types, excessive salt would do no good.


3. Fertilizer

Fertilizing Red maple trees is not mandatory. However, you can use a general-purpose fertilizer during the spring.


4. Humidity and temperature

Ideally, they can survive in both moist and dry areas. You can see them growing along streams, swampy and mountainous regions, and producing beautiful Red maple flowers. The plant enjoys cooler weather.


5. Water

All the Red maple trees love moist soil, but they can even do well in dry soil, provided you water regularly. Red maples need around 8-10 gallons of water weekly.


6. Pruning

Each maple type has a variable growth rate. But, regardless pruning is not mandatory for the Red maples. Red maples, are sensitive to pruning. Hence, do not cut branches more than a few inches. Also, curtail pruning to the autumn or end of summer. If pruned in the growing season, the tree tends to bleed sap.


7. Pests

Though Red maples are not highly susceptible to insects, there may be occasional incidents, especially after exposure to leaf spots, anthracnose, verticillium wilt, cankers, or tar spots. Insect pests might result in scale, borers, and aphids. When you see pests, wash the leaves thoroughly and use neem oil or any insecticide to kill the pests.


What Does A Full Grown Red Maple Look Like?

A full grown red maple has some distinct attributes. Let us discuss them below:


1. Red maple tree leaves

The plant has triangular-shaped, coarsely serrated leaves, typically three to six inches. Red maple leaf is lobed, and you may find three to five lobes in the leaves. Also, the leaves have sharp-angled and shallow clefts in between the lobes. Usually, the Maple leaves top is shiny, dark green. But, it changes color and goes from orange to red during the fall.


You can also identify the plant by assessing the Red maple tree trunk and flowers. Let us read about them below.


2. Red maple tree flowers

Red maple is typically the first one to produce small flowers with slender stalks. You will see Red maple flowers during spring, some weeks ahead of the appearance of the Red maple tree leaves.


There are different types of Red maple trees, hence, there is a variation in the colors of the flowers. You can find them in hues like orange, green, yellow, and red.


Its flowering happens in the crown’s upper portion on all the branches. These are food sources for the pollinators like bees. Most Red maple tree varieties yield flowers in the first or the second week of May.


3. Red maple tree trunk

Red maples have a single, erect trunk. The trunk usually grows to about 30-inches in diameter. Upon maturity, it has a rounded crown, which spans 25 to 40 feet in width.


Types Of Red Maple Trees

A. Variegated Red maples

The Red maples with variegated leaves come with speckled pink, white, and green leaves. Its foliage is pink and turns green and white in spring as the leaves age. Candy Ice is a popular variety here.


B. Columnar Red maples

It is a perfect pick for gardens and yard spaces with limited space. They require less air than the rounder usual varieties but depict their attractive and vibrant colors in fall.


Some of them include:


  • Armstrong
  • Columnare
  • Bowhall


C. Rare Red maples

These trees have variations and oddities, which are intriguing and rare. These are dwarf and globe-shaped, prevalent in private gardens or arboretums.

Some of them include:

  • Shocking Gold
  • Armstrong Gold


Red Maple Tree Varieties

Here are so many different varieties of Red maples.


1. Acer Red Maple Tree

Famed for its beautiful fall color, it is a fast-growing deciduous plant. It grows to 40 to 70 feet in height with a 30-50 feet spread. Botanically called the Acer Rubrum, it is a low-maintenance plant but enjoys part shade to full sun.


2. American Red Maple Tree

Rich reds and vibrant colors are the two character traits of the American Red maple tree. It stands true to its name and produces red flowers in early spring, red leaves in fall, and red twigs of new growth. It is one of the most widely prevalent plants in the eastern US and adapts to different environmental conditions. American Red maple is drought tolerant.


3. Armstrong Red Maple Tree

It is a Freeman Maple cultivator with an upright and narrow growth pattern. The plant yields red flower clusters in early spring and has medium-green leaves and silvery undersides. It is tolerant of different soil conditions. The plant can grow up to 45 feet with a spread of 15 feet.


4. Autumn Red Maple Tree

Like other varieties of Red maple, Autumn Blade also has spectacular fall foliage, making it a center of attraction in any space or garden. It is a hybrid of silver Maple and the Red maple, both native to North America. It is a pollution-tolerant plan. So, you can effortlessly grow it in a busy street.


5. Autumn Flame Red Maple

It is a selected variety of the Native Red maple tree that produces beautiful fall colors of scarlet and crimson. It turns red early in the season and maintains its colors across the fall. Autumn Flame is a rapidly growing tree, which can be an excellent privacy screen.


6. Blood Red Maple Tree

It is a beautiful Japanese Maple that can add the right degree of pizzazz to your landscape. With its unique color, the Blood Red maple retains its beauty and color across the year. Upon maturity, the plant reaches a height of 15-20 feet. These are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that appreciate the full sun.


7. Bloodgood Red Maple Tree

Bloodgood Red maple has visually appealing foliage with red and burgundy coloring, which changes to scarlet in the fall. Its attractive red-black bark captures interest, especially during the winter. It is an airy, slender tree, ideal for entryways, patios, and a small lawn, and is one of the hardiest varieties.


8. Bowhall Red Maple Tree

It is a highly valued plant for its rigid, columnar appearance. In early spring, the plant yields appealing clusters of red flowers along the branches before the leaves appear. The plant grows to a height of 50 feet with a spread of 15-feet and is a low-maintenance plant. Prune it in the summer months.


9. Brandywine Red Maple Tree

It is a beautiful shade tree with attractive colors. During the spring, mulch before the red-tinted green leaves shows. Brandywine Red maple plant produces small, red flowers. They are bewitching. It is an adaptable cold-hardy plant with green leaves that turn darker upon maturity before finally changing to crimson red during fall.


10. Burgundy Red Maple Tree

It has the richest and the deepest red fall foliage of almost all the Red maple trees. During the growing season, it darkens its color to an exquisite magenta-burgundy and purple-red. Across the life, its vibrant colors stand out. The plant reaches 20-feet in a decade and grows to 40-feet with a spread of 35-feet. So, you need to spare a vast space during the plantation.


11. Candy Ice

It is a variegated form of Red maple. Candy Ice is an eye-popping and beautiful tree, and its new growth is intense and varies from intense pink to red-pink or creamy-white with a hint of green. Its fall color is between yellow to orange.


12. Cardinal Red Maple Tree

If you live for the red hues of the Maples, the Cardinal Red will impress you. The autumn beauty will amaze you with maroon and bright red to orange colors. In Cardinal maple, you can expect the beautiful fall colors early, and they last almost a whole season. Also, fall is not the only time you see the red hue. The plant sprouts red, with new growth during the early spring that later changes to green.


13. Carolina Red Maple Tree

It is a prevalent tree in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain and Piedmont. Among different types of red maple trees, it is a tall plant, which grows to 100-feet, and has a spread of 30-50 feet. Carolina Red maple prefers partial to full sun and thrives in USDA hardiness three through nine. It is easy to grow and can tolerate various growing conditions.


14. Chinese Red Maple Tree

Regardless of where you grow the Chinese Maple tree, it will be the center of attention, especially during the fall. Chinese Red maple can put every tree to shame because of its redder-than-red color. It is a rare species and grows to thirty to forty feet in height. Remember that after planting Red maple tree, this one needs a vast space to spread. It thrives in USDA hardiness between 7A to 9B.


15. Columnar Red Maple Trees

Fastigiate or columnar trees are taller than they are wide. Their height-to-width ratio is 5:1 or more. These are suitable for narrow trees and add interest and variety to any space. You can also grow them to form a screen.


16. Coral Bark Red Maple

It is an easy-to-grow, low-maintenance plant that blossoms in acidic, well-drained, adaptive soil. Coral Bark demands full sun, but it thrives in partial shade too. This red maple tree full grown reaches a mature height of 15 to 20 feet with a spread of 10-15 feet. Its red bark is a sight to behold and is suitable for small gardens and yards.


17. Crimson Red or King Red or Crimson King Red Maple

While the usual Red maples show their attractive colors during the fall, such is not the case with the Crimson Red maple Tree. They display their purple color all around the summer. Famous for its rich, striking purple foliage, the Crimson Red maple Tree grows well in colder climates. They are of the few varieties that show beautiful color even in the Northern states.


18. Dwarf Red Maple Tree

It is a relatively new variety with a compact and dwarf form and small deep red leaves. It looks like the miniature form of Bloodgood Red maple, given its deepest red leaf color. It reaches maturity in two years when the height is just four feet. The plant grows in USDA hardiness three through nine.


19. Glory Red Maple Tree

Glory Red maple can be your go-to pick if you need a fast-growing Red maple. It has a smaller spread of 25-35 feet and grows to a height of 40 feet, and the plant grows through USDA hardiness 4 through 9 with a growth rate of 24-inches annually. It can thrive in different kinds of soil, ranging from clayey to loamy and acidic.


20. Jefferson Red Maple Tree or Autumn Blaze Red Maple Tree

Among the different types of red maple trees, it is a classic, oval-shaped maple with beautiful red or orange fall color. It is a fast-growing plant that can brighten your yard. It has a long lifespan and usually lasts longer than other Maples. Because they are tolerant to several growing conditions, it is a top choice in different landscapes. They work as natural Air Conditioners.


21. Karpick Red Maple

It is a middle ground between the ovular and the narrow shapes, valued for its columnar form. Karpick Red maple plant produces red flower clusters along the branches in the spring months and is a dense deciduous tree. It is low-maintenance that requires summer pruning only.


22. Mountain Red Maple

Also called the Mtn Red maple, it is a small shrub that grows to a 20-feet height and 15-cm wide. It is a fast-growing, shade-tolerant plant. Mtn has yellow-green leaves, which eventually turn yellow, brown, or red in fall, and spring is the ideal time to plant the tree.


23 .Morgan Maple

It is a Red maple and Silver Maple hybrid with beautiful fall color. It has showy flowers along the branches in early spring. Famous for its ornamental features, Morgan Maple has green deciduous foliage. It is a low-maintenance plant that requires pruning post establishment in summers. You can buy this Red maple tree sapling online or from a nearby nursery.


24. Northwood Red Maple Tree

It is a hardy Red maple native to Minnesota. The sharp shade tree has a brilliant red fall color with beautiful red flowers appearing in early spring along the branches. It is a low-maintenance plant but is intolerant to alkaline soils.


25. Norwegian Red Maple Tree

These are hardy Red maple tree varieties with purple-leaf that retains its rich royal purple color across the season. It makes Norwegian Red maple a perfect pick for larger yards, and this shade tree has beautiful deciduous foliage. Norwegian Red maple is an ornamental plant covered in beautiful corymbs of lemon-yellow flowers. Norwegian Red maple is low maintenance and should be pruned only once in summer.


26. Redpointe Red Maple Tree

It is a rapidly growing, heat-resistant plant, which is a beautiful pick for sustainable landscapes. Redpointe grows well in nurseries and landscapes across North America. It is a disease and pest-resistant tree, which is easy to maintain.


27. Red Rocket Maple

It is a robust, columnar-shaped Red maple, which is a perfect choice for the compact yard. It grows through USDA hardiness four through seven and attains a height of 30 to 35 feet. The plant has a small spread of only eight feet. It needs full sun for growth.


28. Red Sunset Red Maple Tree

Also known as Acer rubrum ‘Franksred,’ it grows in USDA hardiness three through nine, just like the regular Red maple variety. It also supports a similar spread of 40-feet. However, it does not grow as tall as them, and its maximum height is usually between 40-50 feet. Given its bright red hue, it is a popular plant in the commercial market. Planting Red maple trees from this variety is easy and low-maintenance.


29. Rhode Island Red Maple Tree

A vibrant dwarf, Japanese Red maple, Rhode Island, has a compact but dense branching. It grows well in USDA hardiness five through nine and can survive in full sun, filtered sun, partial sun, and partial shade conditions. The plant requires watering weekly or more often in extreme heat.


30. Royal Red Maple Tree

Royal Red maple tree leaf is a classic purple in color, which retains its brilliant red color across the summer. It is a slow-growing plant with a broad, dense oval form. The plant grows in USDA hardiness four and acquires a mature height of about 30-40 feet with 35 feet spread.


31. Ruby Red Maple Tree

Also called the Ruby Full Moon, Ruby Red maple is an exclusive Japanese Maple famous for its fan-shaped and full-rounded leaves. Its initial growth is dark red with soft and silvery hairs. During the spring, the foliage turns red. The plant grows 10-feet tall with a 5-feet width, but over time it becomes fuller and taller.


32. Scarlet Sentinel Maple

It usually goes from oval to rectangular outline and has a beautiful, bold appearance, making it a perfect specimen in parking lots and streets. Scarlet’s leaves are darker than other Red maples, and Scarlet Sentinel also holds well during the summer heat.


33. Summer Red Maple Tree

People with a small yard can consider choosing the Summer Red maple Tree. Its narrow and dense canopy makes it a perfect specimen for summer shade. It is a fast-growing tree but does not take over your whole landscape. It is a compact tree that yields colorful foliage in spring, fall, and summer. For fertilizing Red maple trees choose a time during spring.


34. Sun Valley Red Maple Tree

Another compact tree, Sun Valley, is suitable for smaller gardens. It is a showy fall plant with an upright oval habit of growth, and the plant produces beautiful red maple tree flowers in spring and spectacular foliage in fall. It is a slow-growing plant, which grows to 20-35 feet upon maturity with a spread of 15-25 feet.



35. Swamp Red Maple Tree

It is a medium-sized deciduous plant with three-lobed leaves having shiny red twigs, hairy and silvery back, and scaly but smooth gray bark. The plant usually grows in swamps, and open woodlands, with moist soil.


36. Weeping Red Maple Tree

Also known as the Red Dragon Japanese Maple, it is a gorgeous plant with eye-catching shades of scarlet and crimson red. It retains its color across seasons, but in spring, you’ll see a burst of ruby red, which is showy and vivid.

Related: How fast do maple trees grow?