Every garden needs a serious tree – a proper shade tree that will grow with your family and outlive us all. The best choice is usually a native tree, which is well adapted to the climate and suffers from few diseases. American Red Maple is an excellent choice among those native trees, as it is hardy and more tolerant of urban conditions than, for example, the Sugar Maple. It will thrive on almost all kinds of soil, from rich, damp soils, to thin, dry soils and everything in between.
Growing American Red Maple Trees
With its spectacular brilliant red leaves in fall it is a tree that everyone can be proud to grow. Although usually grown as a specimen, American Red Maple is also a great choice for a windbreak or deciduous screen, or even as a special choice for an interesting and beautiful hedge. When young, your American Red Maple will grow quite rapidly, up to three feet a year, so it will quickly make a 20 foot specimen in your garden. As it matures the growth rate will slow down and most trees reach a final height of around 50 feet.
American Red Maple is much hardier than other Maples, and even many other shade trees for that matter. It will grow in a wide range of soils, from near-swamp conditions to dry sites. So whatever your soil Red Maple will thrive. It is resistant to insects and diseases and the strong wood will not break in storms. It is only occasionally eaten in winter by deer, and once grown tall will of course be out of their reach. It should not be planted where there are horses, as the fallen leaves are poisonous to them.
American Red Maple is hardy in zones 4 to 9, so it grows throughout America, except for the coldest parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the tip of Florida. This is a tree that everyone can grow and love.
It is tolerant of almost all types of soil, but will grow faster if you give it water and some fertilizer during its first few years. After that it will thrive on its own.
Planting Your American Red Maple
Allow plenty of room for your specimen American Red Maple. Plant your new tree at least 20 feet from your house and well away from driveways and roads. When planting as a screen or wind-break, allow 10 to 15 feet between the trees. A tree for life deserves a little care, so dig a wide, shallow hole about three times the diameter of the pot. Add some organic material like compost, manure or peat-moss and some bone-meal or superphosphate. Place the tree in the center of the hole, put back most of the soil and firm it down well. Add lots of water and when it has drained away finish with the rest of the soil. Water well every week for the first season and after that only when the soil is dry.
This tree can be planted in the shade of other trees but not too close to them. It will soon grow up and find the sunshine. It requires little pruning, just remove any weak branches and any that are growing too close together. Some water during drought periods and some tree fertilizer in spring in helpful for young trees but in a few years your tree will need nothing except admiration.
History and Origins of the American Red Maple
American Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is one of the most widespread native trees in North America. It is found all the way from Quebec to Florida, throughout all the eastern states of America. It is the state tree of Rhode Island. It is one of the most beautiful trees of the forests, reaching 80 or even over 100 feet tall in ideal locations. In fall its brilliant red leaves complement the gold of the Sugar Maples and purple of the Ash trees.
Although this noble tree can reach 100 feet, it is more usually seen as a specimen tree up to 50 feet tall. It will eventually be around 30 or 40 feet across. The trunk has smooth grey bark when young and only in older trees does it become more cracked in appearance. The trunk may be 18 to 30 inches across. The leaves are typical lobed maple-leaves but differ from other Maples in being much smoother in outline, with just three lobes at the end. In spring the tiny red flowers give a deep-red glow to the twigs and it is one of the first trees to flower, announcing the coming of spring. The most striking feature, and why this tree is such a good garden choice, is the flaming red foliage each fall, which lights up the garden as the cooler days arrive.
Buying American Red Maples at The Tree Center
There are many different forms of the American Red Maple, so it is important to get a strong, healthy form that will perform well in all conditions. Our trees are grown the correct way, from grafts of particular trees. That way every tree is identical to the original and will have its best features. However these take longer to produce, so avoid cheaper, seedling trees that will only be a disappointment.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However, we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.