red maple
Acer rubrum

Red maple is one of the most abundant and widespread of eastern North American deciduous trees. Red maple's ability to thrive in a wide range of wet to dry conditions surpasses the tolerance capabilities of perhaps all other species.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Red maple wood is relatively soft but is used for pulp, sawtimber, veneer, pallets, crates, barrels, flooring, plywood, cabinetry, railroad ties, etc.


Wildlife Value
      Red maple is often browsed by large mammals, and is especially important to deer in late fall/ early winter in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, and Minnesota.
          Attracts: deer, elk, moose, snowshoe hare, wood ducks, pileated woodpeckers, screech owls, flickers

Regeneration methods
      Group selection and shelterwood methods favor red maple regeneration. Red maple stump sprouts heavily, making coppice regeneration viable in addition to seeding.

Fun facts
Red maple is widely used as an ornamental or shade tree. The foliage turns brilliant red or yellow in the fall. Sap may be used to make syrup, although yield is lower than from sugar maple. The wood is relatively soft. In managed forests, red maple is often considered a weed species particulalry when high quality oaks are desired.
Acer: Latin name - sharp (leaves or used as lances) or Celtic "ac" (hard) / rubrum: red
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu