Roots Of Red Maples - Knowledgebase Question

Bethlehem, PA
Question by cpugl23010
October 16, 1999
Are the roots of acer rubrum as aggressive as the norway maples? I would like to plant a red maple 10 feet away from my driveway and shed. A red maple would fit all of our needs shade on driveway in summer, beautiful fall foliage, and fast growth. My other choices would be a rum cherry or a zelkova. I am not as familar with these trees.


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Answer from NGA
October 16, 1999

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In my experience the roots of Norway maples are among the worst, so a red maple is less awful. Keep in mind though that any large tree will have roots extending beyond its canopy. Rum cherry tends to be a bit coarse looking and is often attacked by caterpillars during the summer, so it would be a less desirable ornamental. Zelkova is a lovely but extremely large shade tree -- of the three the red maple is probably more in keeping with the average home proportions.

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