Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Get to Know New York’s Natives: Red Maple

With fall officially upon us, there’s no better native to highlight this month than one of the first trees to showcase its autumn colors – the red maple (Acer rubrum).

Red maple is one of the most common tree species in the eastern United States, and red maple trees can be found all across New York State. This species’ tolerance of a wide range of site conditions makes it suitable for both natural and urban environments. Mature trees tend to reach a height of 40-60 feet with a full canopy of 30-40 feet in width.

the flower of a red maple tree in springThis time of year, red maples are admired for their bright red shades, though yellow and occasionally even orange can be spotted as well. In winter, the sap of a red maple can be used to produce maple syrup. As winter ends, the red flowers and seeds of this species are a welcome sign of early spring. The seeds (samaras), buds, and twigs are treats for mammals, and the tree’s canopy is a popular nesting site for birds. In the forest products industry, red maple is valued for its lumber and pulpwood. The red maple is truly a tree for all seasons and species!

Check out more red maple fun at these links:

Photos: (Top) Red maple leaves in autumn, photo by USDA Forest Service; (Bottom) red maple flowers in early spring, photo by Chris Evans, University of Illinois

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NYS DEC

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.


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One Response

  1. Phil Fitzpatrick says:

    I am not competent to comment in detail, but the red maple is of special significance to our Native Americans. You might want to inquire of
    John Fadden at the Six Nations Indian Museum.

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