Red Sunset Maple TreeAcer rubrum 'Franksred'
View more from Maple Trees
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Probiotic Root Stimulant
Acer rubrum 'Franksred'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Red Sunset® Red Maple has been specially selected from among thousands of seedlings to be the best red maple available. Not only are its fall colors of red and orange outstanding, they develop almost two weeks before other varieties, yet they stay on the tree for weeks. This is also the best variety for hot and dry locations, because it is much more drought resistant than any other red maple. A handsome shade tree, it grows 40 to 50 feet tall, and up to 40 feet across, making a magnificent specimen very quickly, since it grows up to 3 feet a year. It will soon turn from a healthy young tree into a magnificent addition to your property. Plant it as a shade tree, as a background specimen in a larger garden, or as a beautiful row along the edge of your property.
Plant the Red Sunset Red Maple in any ordinary soil. If you do not have the moist conditions red maple loves, then this is the variety to grow. It grows well everywhere but southern Florida and southern California, so you can’t go wrong with this choice. It has no significant pests or diseases and its beautiful leaves are a striking glossy green – until they blaze into the fall season in a bonfire of color. For the very best fall colors of any shade tree, this is the tree to pick.
Fall color is a definite highlight of the year, and everyone loves trees in red and orange perhaps more than any other colors. The Red Maple really lives up to its name, and is a flaming beacon among the softer fall colors of other trees. However, if you grow just a common Red Maple, your tree may not always be so colorful. This is because each tree is an individual, and it colors differently.
If you want reliable color, it is best to grow a named tree, reproduced from an original parent tree that was selected for its outstanding color. The Red Sunset Red Maple is just such a tree. It was chosen from thousands of seedlings for its outstanding deep reds and oranges, more spectacular and reliable than any other variety of this tree. Not only that, this is a tree that gives reliable color even in hot areas, where other trees don’t color well.
The Red Sunset Red Maple is a large shade tree that will grow 45 feet tall, and even a few feet more. It has a spread of 30 to 40 feet, with a full, rounded crown. In summer the leaves are a very attractive glossy green, and this is an ideal specimen tree for a lawn, or for planting in prominent parts of your property.
It also makes a great screen along the boundary or road edge, and a row of these trees in full color is a spectacular sight not easily forgotten. It colors up to 2 weeks earlier than wild Red Maples do, and it holds the colored leaves well, before they finally drop to the ground.
It is very fast growing, increasing by as much as 3 feet every year, but unlike some other trees, the wood is strong, and this tree will not break in strong winds or storms. It develops a pyramidal to oval crown, giving good shade for family gathering beneath its spreading branches, or to create a dense screen. Trees can even be pruned regularly to create an unusual and striking hedge. As well, this is a popular tree for creating bonsai, and the leaves become smaller when grown that way, but retain their spectacular coloring.
Plant your Red Sunset Red Maple in an open place, allowing plenty of room away from buildings and walls for it to spread – do not plant closer than 20 feet from your home. It will grow well in almost any kind of soil, and in almost any kind of soil conditions, although soil that is rich and damp will produce the largest trees.
Choose a sunny or lightly shaded location to plant your tree. You can find wild Red Maples growing all the way from Canada to northern Florida, and west into Texas and Minnesota. They are usually found growing in damp areas and along streams, but they are also found on dry sites, and grow in a wide range of soils.
The tree has leaves that are easily distinguished from other Maples, as they only have three lobes, with often two smaller ones lower down the leaf. This is quite different to the Sugar Maple, which has five distinct lobes. The leaves of the Red Sunset Red Maple are 2-3 inches long and wide, and grow opposite each other on the twigs. They are a rich green, with a glossy surface – that is until they turn glowing shades or reds and oranges as the cooler nights of fall begin. Older trees will produce small, red flowers clusters in late winter and early spring, before the leaves appear, and these produce seeds that are popular with birds and squirrels.
The need for moisture can be a limitation in growing Red Maples, but the Red Sunset Red Maple is much more drought resistant than other varieties. This makes it a great choice if you live in hotter, drier parts of the country. Water it during dry spells for the first few years, and after that it will grow well even during long periods of drought. It has no significant pests or diseases, and will grow vigorously and beautifully with almost no care from you at all.
The Red Sunset Red Maple has a long and noble history. It was developed in the 1940s by the tree breeder and nurseryman J. Frank Schmidt, Jr. His nursery, J. Frank Schmidt & Sons, located in Boring, Oregon, introduced the tree for sale in 1966. The name Red Sunset, which is trademarked, was inspired by the popular song “Red Sails in the Sunset”. So outstanding was this tree, that right up until today it is the ‘gold standard’ for quality and color among all red maple varieties. Our trees are produced in a direct line from Frank’s original red maple selection, so avoid trees that are merely called ‘red maple’. They will be unreliable and definitely not this outstanding variety.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is a hardy tree that can be planted at any time of the year. However, it is generally recommended to plant trees in the early spring or fall. This allows the tree to establish its root system in moderate temperatures before the heat of summer or the cold of winter.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is drought resistant and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions. However, it’s important to water the tree regularly, especially during dry spells for the first few years after planting. Once established, the tree can withstand longer periods of drought, but regular watering will help it thrive.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is adaptable and can grow in a wide range of soil types. However, it thrives best in rich, damp soil. Despite its adaptability, it’s important to ensure the soil has good drainage as waterlogged conditions can harm the tree.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is a large tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall with a spread of 30 to 40 feet. Therefore, it needs plenty of space to grow. It’s recommended to plant this tree at least 20 feet away from buildings or walls to allow for its full growth.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is a fast-growing tree. It can increase its height by as much as 3 feet every year. This rapid growth, combined with its beautiful foliage and strong wood, makes it an excellent choice for those wanting a large, attractive tree in a relatively short time.
Yes, the Red Sunset Maple Tree does produce flowers and seeds. Older trees will produce small, red flower clusters in late winter and early spring, before the leaves appear. These flowers then produce seeds that are popular with birds and squirrels, adding an extra element of wildlife interest to your garden.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is renowned for its vibrant fall colors, which are considered the best among all red maple varieties. Its leaves turn dynamic shades of red and orange in the fall, creating a stunning display. These colors develop almost two weeks before other varieties, providing an extended period of fall color.
Yes, the Red Sunset Maple Tree can be pruned. In fact, regular pruning can help maintain its shape and create a striking hedge. It’s best to prune in late winter or early spring when the tree is dormant. This helps to minimize sap loss and reduces the risk of disease transmission.
The Red Sunset Maple Tree is a hardy and vigorous tree that is not significantly affected by pests or diseases. However, like any plant, it can be susceptible to certain conditions if not properly cared for. Regular watering, proper spacing, and appropriate pruning can help keep the tree healthy and thriving.
Yes, the Red Sunset Maple Tree can be used for bonsai. Its leaves become smaller when grown as a bonsai, but they retain their spectacular coloring. Creating a bonsai from a Red Sunset Maple Tree requires careful pruning and maintenance, but the result can be a stunning miniature tree with vibrant fall colors.