Red Maple, Large Trees
- American. Any soil.
- Vigorous. Scarlet autumn colour.
- Other Sizes: Bareroot Saplings.
- Max. Height: 30m
- Bareroot Delivery: Nov-Mar.
Acer rubrum: Bareroot Canadian Red Maple Trees in Standard Sizes
The Scarlet or Red Maple, Acer rubrum is a big, vigorous tree with dark green leaves that turn a fantastic bright, mottled red and orange in Autumn (in the right conditions, otherwise it will be more yellow). During winter, the red-brown young twigs provide some interest. In early spring, before the leaves emerge, the branches are covered in puff-balls of red and warm orange flowers. The winged seeds have pink membranes.
It has an upright habit, and makes a great screening tree for a big garden. The biggest specimens in America are over 30 metres tall, but 20 metres is typical in the UK. The canopy about half as wide as it is tall.
Delivery season: Maple trees are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small trees are cheaper, easier to handle and more forgiving of less than ideal aftercare, so they are best for a big planting project. If instant impact is your priority, or if you are only buying a few plants for use in a place where it is convenient to water them well in their first year, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our bareroot trees are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
- Height: 20m
- Soil: Looks best on moist, acidic soils
- Rich red Autumn colour
- Bareroot delivery only: November-March
Growing Red Maples
This hardy tree prefers a rich, moist, neutral to acidic soil, which is necessary for good Autumn colour: plenty of sun also helps. It is not recommended for chalk or dry soils: it should grow, but it will be stunted and won't colour well in Autumn. It loves clay if the pH is right, and although it won't grow in really wet soil like a willow, it doesn't mind winter waterlogging or flooding.
It is suitable for exposed locations, but not on the coast.
Did You Know?
This North American tree was growing in Europe before the 1650's. It is also known as the Swamp or Soft Maple.
The tallest Red Maple on record in the UK was a touch over 24 metres tall, at Bagshot Park, Surrey, measured in 1907, but it is long since gone.
Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
Notes on planting Red Maple trees:
Red Maple is a vigorous tree that can grow pretty much anywhere, from wet clay to sandy areas, though its growth will be much slower if the soil is dry.
It will grow less vigorously on chalk, but if you want to see the best autumn colour, they need to be planted on soils that are neutral or acidic.
Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the site where you plant a tree several months in advance. Kill the weeds first: for tough weeds like nettles, brambles and ground elder, you will usually need a weed-killer to get rid of them. When you dig the soil over, remove stones and other rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
Watch our video on how to plant a tree for full instructions.
Remember to water establishing trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Tree Planting accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a tree planting pack with a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a mulch mat with pegs to protect the soil around the base of your tree from weeds and drying out.
We suggest that you use mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all newly planted large trees: if your soil quality is poor, we strongly recommend it.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.