The Q&A Archives: Red Maple

Question: We are considering a red maple for our south facing lawn, but have heard there are many types of these trees. What are they and what are the specifics. This will help us to determine which one we will purchase.

Answer: Acer rubrum is the Red Maple, and there are many cultivars. All grow quickly and prefer full sunshine and well-draining soil. 'Armstrong' is a tall, very narrow tree with good fall color. 'Autumn Radiance' has a broad oval form and orange-red fall color. 'Bowhall' is cone shaped with orange-red color. 'Columnare' is tall and broadly columnar. 'Gerling' is pyramidal in shape with a 20' foot spread. 'Karpick' is narrow in growth habit with red twigs and yellow to red fall color. 'Northwood' has a rounded form and is extremely cold hardy. 'October Glory' is a tall, round-headed tree, and the last of the red maples to change color in the fall. 'Red Sunset' is tall and vigorous, with a nice branching habit. 'Scarlet Sentinel' and 'Schlesingeri' are tall, slender, and have orange-red fall color. 'Shade King' is a very fast grower to 50' feet. The pale green foliage turns bright red in the fall. 'Tilford' is globe-shaped, and 'V. J. Drake' has unusual fall color; the leaf borders turn red and violet while the center is still green. The leaves eventually turn completely red. Hope this information helps you choose just the right red maple tree.

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