S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Red Maple Tree
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
( Acer Rubrum )
Red Maple ( Acer Rubrum)
Red Maple Origins:
– native to the low wetlands of North America
Red maple Preferred Exposure:
– full sun to light shade
Red Maple Foliage | Bark:
– deciduous foliage of the Red Maple is 2-4 inches in length and emerges a
bright shiny red color and turns bright glossy green on the top of the leaf with a duller green on the bottom.
– leaves of the Red Maple are among the first to show color in the fall and one of the few reliable sources of any fall color in our North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area. The leaves turn a nice orange to red color in the fall depending on cultivar selected.
– Bark of the Red maple tree is a beautiful gray green with white
Red Maple Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– All cultivar of Red maple prefer moist soils, although quite tolerant of varied soil components Red Maples will not thrive in highly alkaline soils, most soils in our North Florida landscapes fall in the slightly acid range that the red maple will prefer.
– Red Maple trees have moderate salt tolerance, suitable for a few blocks from the oceans salt air.
Red Maple Size Variance:
– vast genetic variance as well as sun and water conditions may keep this trees mature growth ranges spanning quite a large scale. They can reach height up to 75 ft but will most commonly
be found in the landscape at a height closer to 40-60 feet | 20-40 feet Wide
Red Maple Growth Habit:
– upright narrow with an overall oval shape that is much taller than it is wide
Red Maple Growth Rate:
– extremely fast growth rate, expect 2-3 feet of growth each season once established until Maturity.
Red Maple Bloom:
– Quite showy bright reddish flowers and seed pods in the spring
Red Maple Water Requirements:
– not drought tolerant Red maple trees will drop leaves in hot dry weather and show signs of leaf scorch if no supplemental irrigation is provided in well draining soils. Red Maples love to have ‘wet feet’
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
Best Uses For Red Maple:
– An excellent choice for poorly drained soils where other landscape trees
would suffer, Red Maples are well suited to smaller yards where larger wider growing specimen trees would overwhelm the space.
– One of the few trees for reliable fall color, take care not to plant near
sidewalks or driveways in well draining areas Red Maple trees root systems will tend to rise above ground level causing hardscape damage when planted to closely.
Care of Red Maple Trees:
– water every day during the establishment period. See watering your newly planted trees for more information.
-they will need good water during the establishment period and supplemental irrigation during dry spells or particularly hot dry summers. Expect to have to watch a newly planted maple tree during the first two warm seasons after planting for signs of leaf scorch indicating low moisture levels in the soil and the need for additional irrigation.
– prune dead or damaged branches each summer as needed
– provide a 1 ft diameter circle of mulched area where grass is kept from growing for each inch of caliper (or diameter) of trunk measured 4 inches from the ground level.
– fertilize each spring with a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food, sprinkling the fertilizer around the mulch circle underneath the foliage of the tree.