Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

RED MAPLE
Acer rubrum
Aceraceae

Leaves are simple, opposite, and deciduous with 3-5 lobes. Leaf margins are toothed, petioles are often red, and leaves turn bright orange-red in fall. Twigs are a shiny red with V-shaped leaf scars and blunt reddish-brown buds. Bark is smooth and ranges in color from brown gray to white, but becoming gray-brown, scaly and plated with age. Flowers are bright red in spring and appear before the leaves. Fruit is a scarlet double samara. Form is up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Red maple occurs on a very wide range of sites in the east and central U.S. Intermediate shade tolerance. Wood used for pallets and furniture. Seeds eaten by birds and small animals. A popular ornamental and many cultivars are available.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: