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Zones A2, A3, 1-9, 14-17, 26, 28, 31-44
Full Sun
Regular Water

Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’

Red Maple, Scarlet Maple
Deciduous, Trees


Maples are a varied group. They may be large and midsize shade trees; smaller trees; and dainty, picturesque shrub-trees. Leaves range from simple ovals to deeply lobed and finely dissected shapes. One element common to all maples is the fruit (seed capsule), which resembles a hardware store wingnut.

Many maples have beautiful fall color. Look for one that colors well in your locale; visit nurseries while the foliage is changing hue.

The larger maples have extensive fibrous root systems that take water and nutrients from the topsoil. The great canopy of leaves calls for a steady, constant supply of water, not necessarily frequent watering but constantly available water throughout the root zone. Occasional deep watering and periodic feeding will help keep roots deep.

Medium to large maple species need little pruning. On smaller types, prune to accentuate the natural shape. To minimize sap bleed, make any cuts in summer or early fall in mild-winter areas, from summer to the end of January where temperatures remain below freezing.

Acer rubrum

Native to low, wet areas of eastern North America. Fairly fast growth to 60 ft. tall, 40 ft. wide, or even larger. Red twigs, branchlets, and buds; quite showy flowers. Dull red fruit. Leaves 2–4 in. long, with three to five lobes, shiny green above, pale beneath; brilliant scarlet fall color in frosty areas. Tolerates most soils. Not at its best in urban pollution.

‘Red Sunset’

Upright, vigorous branching pattern. Grows 40–50 ft. tall and 30–35 ft. wide. Glossy green leaves turn brilliant orange to scarlet in fall.

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