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Form and Fall Color


Flower female

Red Maple, Drummond Red Maple, Trident Red Maple, Swamp Maple, Water Maple, Scarlet Maple, Soft Maple
Acer rubrum


In any season, red maple exhibits bright crimsons and scarlets: small red spring flowers, sometimes red samaras, and on certain individuals flaming red fall color underlie the common name. They are medium to large trees with upright oval crowns, native to the eastern half of the country, including the wetter areas of east Texas. They are poorly adapted to Central and West Texas, becoming chlorotic on alkaline or neutral soils and not adapted to drought. There are several varieties of red maple, according to some authors. Drummond red maple, common in southeastern Texas, and trident red maple, which has 3-lobed leaves and is especially attractive in northeastern Texas, are probably the most frequently encountered red maples in Texas. The leaves of most trident red maples turn golden yellow in the fall, not red, as is typical of other red maples.

Plant Habit or Use: medium tree large tree

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: red

Blooming Period: spring winter

Fruit Characteristics: Pairs of pink and red samaras joined at the base with curved membranous wings

Height: 50' to 70' in landscape settings, to 100'+ in wild

Width: 40' to 60'

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high medium

Water Requirements: medium

Soil Requirements: acid

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments: Fall color development is not always reliable in Texas' autumn conditions.

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