Red Maple - Knowledgebase Question

Palmetto, Fl
Question by curt2302
September 4, 2007
I don't see any red Maple trees when were out driving can't they servive the heat in Florida


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Answer from NGA
September 4, 2007

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Curtis,

Red maples can be grown in northern Florida and perhaps central Florida; however your area it is a bit too far south and also too close to the coast for them to perform well. It is a combination of hot weather, the warm winters. If they are nearer the coast the salty conditions also can be detrimental.

There is a version of the red maple which may grow in your area if provided moist growing conditions away from the salt spray of the ocean. The following is a quote in Florida extension regarding this type of Maple:

The Florida maple - Acer barbatum ( Acer saccharum var. floridum ) - is considered by some taxonomists to be a separate species. The correct taxonomic nomenclature appears to depend on which botanist, horticulturist, etc., you rely upon as your "expert". It reaches 50 to 60 feet in height but is often smaller. Displaying muted yellow or orange fall leaf color, Florida maple is ideal for use as a specimen, park or street tree, or for use in woodland areas and is much preferred over Sugar Maple in USDA hardiness zones 8b through 9. The round to oval growth habit makes it an ideal shade or street tree. The edges of the leaves turn under slightly giving them a distinct appearance. The trunk on older specimens resembles that on the northern Sugar Maple, which is an attractive gray with longitudinal ribs.

You might try looking for the "Florida maple" from local specialty garden centers in your area.

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