Red maple

Photograph of the red maple with full summer foliage
Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
This red maple calls the patch of grass outside Ingall's Rink home, but its species can be found along the East Coast. Red maples have the greatest north-south range of any species that lies exclusively on the East coast of North America, growing in forest from Newfoundland down to the southern tip of Florida. Stop by in the autumn to see the red maple's signature flame red foliage.
Elizabeth Hopkinson, Neeha Kothapalli
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
7.20 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.22 m

Red maples are not easily identified by their bark because the bark changes over the course of a tree's lifespan. Young red maples have thin, smooth bark that's usually silverly gray in color. As red maples age, their bark darkens and develops scaly ridges.
Twigs & branches
The red maple has a few large branches coming off the trunk that divide into many small twigs.
Reproductive Structures
Flowers usually develop in the spring between the months of March and April. While the majority of red maple tress usually have male and female flowers on separate plants, some trees are also have both types of flowers. Winged fruits, also called samara or more commonly called 'helicopter seeds,' mature between April and June, and they are dispersed by air. Trees can produce viable seeds as young as four years old and will typically produce good seeds every other year. Source:
The winged fruit is called samaras and is commonly referred to as 'helicopter seeds.' The winged structure enables samaras to travel further than other seeds with the wind. Samaras are classified as dry indehiscent fruits. Photo reference:
  • Spring (early April)
The red maple is one of the most abundant types of trees in the eastern regions of North America. This species is the most tolerant to different climatic conditions amongst all maple trees. It also thrives in a wide range of soil types, textures, moisture, pH and elevation. In New England, these trees grow on ridge tops and dry sandy or rock soils; on the other hand, in the south, this tree species is found in swamp areas.
Origin, history, and uses: 

Red maples are commonly used for landscaping and cities due to their adaptability to different climatic and soil conditions, their bright red foliage during the autumn, relatively fast grwoth, and the lack of hard-shelled seeds. Maple trees are also important as sources of wood and syrup.


Newsom, Guy. “Red Maple.” USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center & the Biota of North America Program. 2000.

Adirondacks Forever Wild. “Trees of the Adirondacks: Red Maple.” 2022.…

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