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Tree of the Month: Red Maple “October Glory”

Red Maples are a popular choice for landscapes in our area. If properly selected and maintained, they are great trees that add beautiful fall color to your landscape. In this month’s Tree of the Month, we will be highlighting the Red Maple.

Botanical Name: Acer rubrum

Characteristics: The Red Maple is a medium-sized shade tree, with a rounded growth form. The vibrant fall color of the October Glory Red Maple ranges from bright orange to deep red which lasts longer through the year than most other Maples. The trident-shaped leaves are easily identifiable with its three, pointed lobes. This tree is a fairly fast-growing tree, reaching around 50 feet in height and 40 feet wide. Tiny, inconspicuous, red flowers will appear in early spring which are an attractant to birds.

Hardiness Zone: Zones 4-9

Requirements: This tree prefers full sun to partial shade, and requires routine watering while establishing. The Red Maple is notorious for having co-dominant stems, which can cause weak branching unions. It is important to have an arborist select a tree with good structure, and keep it on a routine pruning schedule to maintain that structure.

Pest Susceptibility: There are no serious insect or disease problems for this tree, but they are susceptible to aphids, scale, leafhoppers, and can have weak branch unions with “included bark” due to codominant stems.

The Red Maple can be a great shade tree if properly selected and maintained. A cultivar of the Red Maple we recommend is the “October Glory” for its long-lasting fall color. Give us a call if you would like more information about adding one of these trees to your property.