red maple
Acer rubrum

Secondary Names:
swamp maple, trident maple, Drummond red maple

Leaf Type: Deciduous
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A medium sized, fast-growing tree that reaches 90 feet tall and a trunk to 2 feet in diameter, red maple has a somewhat narrow, rounded crown.

Range/Site Description:

Abundant in low, moist areas in the eastern part of the state.


Leaf blades are 2" to 5" long, on a petiole 2" to 4" long, and have from 3 to 5 pointed saw-toothed lobes separated by sharp angular sinuses or openings. In autumn, the leaves turn a brilliant shade of red, or in some varieties, orange-yellow.


The red flowers appear in dense clusters in early spring before the leaves, the buds turning a deep red sometimes before they open.


A "key," or double samara, ripening in late spring or early summer, red to brownish-red. Each half measures between 0.5" to 1" long.


Smooth and light gray on young tree trunks and branches; breaking into rough, scaly, dark gray bark on old limbs and trunks.


Know commercially as soft maple, the wood is heavy, close-grained, rather weak, and of light brown color; it is used in the manufacture of furniture, for turnery, woodenware, and fuel.

Similar Species:

Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) has rounded sinuses between lobes. Drummond red maple (A. rubrum var. drummondii) has large, 5-lobed leaves with velvety pubescence underneath.

Interesting Facts:

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