Acer rubrum, commonly known as the red maple, is a species of deciduous tree native to eastern North America, from eastern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It belongs to the family Sapindaceae and is one of the most widespread and abundant native trees in eastern North America.
Red maple trees can reach a height of 70 feet (21 meters) tall and a spread of 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 meters) wide. The leaves are typically three-lobed and have a distinct red color in the fall, hence the name "red maple." The bark is gray and smooth when young, becoming dark and rough with age.
Red maples are valued for their timber and are commonly used for furniture, cabinetry, flooring, and musical instruments. They are also popular ornamental trees because of their brilliant fall foliage, adaptability to a wide range of soils and climates, and fast growth rate. They are often planted in urban and suburban landscapes and along highways.
In addition to their aesthetic and economic value, red maples play an important ecological role as a source of food and habitat for wildlife. The sap is used to make maple syrup, and the seeds and buds are a food source for birds, squirrels, and other animals. The trees also provide nesting sites and shelter for many species of birds and mammals.
Red maples are generally easy to grow and maintain, but they are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, including verticillium wilt, cankers, and scale insects. They prefer full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soils. The tree's shallow roots make it sensitive to drought and compaction, so it is important to provide adequate water and avoid excessive foot traffic around the base of the tree.