The third in our series of trees we recommend for use in local landscaping is the versatile Red Maple! The experts at Knutsen Landscaping have compiled a list of trees indigenous to our region in Pennsylvania.
Red Maple Acer rubrum
- Earned its name from the brilliant, fiery color of it’s autumn foliage
- Can reach 40-60 feet tall and 150 years old, trunks can be 30 inches in diameter
- Provide color year-round—male trees have clusters of drooping, smoky-red flowers in the spring, reddish twigs and leaf stalks in the summer, and red buds in the winter. Female trees produce decorative seeds (called samaras) from April to June that many people know as whirlybirds or helicopters because of how the wings on one end cause them to spin in the wind.
- While not as productive as the sugar maple, red maples can still be tapped (after reaching 40 years old) to make maple syrup. It takes around 40 gallons of red maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
- Today, red maple wood is used primarily to make smaller items like musical instruments and clothespins and flooring. American pioneers used red maple bark to create black and brown dyes and ink!
- Cultivars include: Bowhall (upright form, yellow-red fall color), October Glory (one of most popular cultivars—intense red foliage, vigorous growth), Red Sunset (also very popular—drought tolerance, vigorous growth, red-red fall color), Sun Valley, and Redpointe (upright, dense).