Happy Birthday Canada!
The Acer rubrum is one of the most abundant-common-widespread deciduous trees in eastern and central North America. These beauties can reach heights of 30 m (100’) and a spread of 9-15 m (30-50’) at full maturity with a trunk thickness of up to 60 cm (20”) in diameter. In its youth the trunk hosts a light grey, smooth bark which with age turns rough and uneven and changes to various shades of brown and grey. The leaves can grow fairly large, 5-15 cm (2 -5”), and are dark green on top with a paler grey-green underneath. The seeds of these red maples are called ‘keys’ and float down like helicopters from the tree tops in the early summer. It is a neat sight to see and can be a real hoot to clean out of the recently opened pool (note sarcasm), a pain in the ‘deck’ (pun intended) and a necessity to clean up as it doesn’t take much for them to begin growing. Red plays a large part in its name and appearance making a grand entrance March-May when small red flowers appear, the twigs and keys are varying shades of red, and the fall finale when the leaves turn to a stunning deep red.
They are tolerant specimens that grow straight up with an oval shaped crown which makes them ideal for using along the street, as a shade tree in your yard or in a park . They have the ability to grow well in zones 3-9 and are cold hardy. They enjoy moist, slightly acidic soil (many naturally grow in wetlands and flood plains). These trees enjoy sun with a side of shade and become nice shade providers themselves. Being a fast growing tree with shallow, widespread roots these trees should be given plenty of room to flourish.
They are not prone to any serious insect or disease problems but keep an eye out for aphids, leafhoppers, borers, scale, caterpillars, verticillium wilt, canker, fungal leaf spot and root rot- any of which can be harmful if not addressed.
A truly Native tree that any Canadian or fellow North American can appreciate!
God keep our land glorious and free . . .