and Deciduous Forest Trees
   of Southern Ontario

Red Maple
Acer Rubrum

Location in Ontario:
Red Maples grow throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward.

A blush of red in early spring, Red Maples in Norfolk County

Genus Acer: Maple trees have simple, lobed leaves that are opposite. They are known for their beautiful fall colours. Maples are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Seeds are in double-winged samaras, or keys. Sugar Maple, Black Maple, Red Maple, Silver Maple and the hybrid Freeman's Maple all grow in Ontario. Sugar Maples are used to make maple syrup, and the wood is valued for cabinets, flooring and furniture.

TREE FACT: Maple trees are divided into "hard" maples (Sugar and Black) and "soft" maples (Silver, Red and Freeman's).

Habitat: Red Maples like swamps and moist soil.

Landscape Use: Red Maple has bright red foliage in the fall.

Red Maple leaves have  indentations are shallow and the edges have sharp teeth. They turn brilliant red in the fall.

FALL COLOUR WATCH:  yellow, deep gold or red

Red Maple with a mix of colours

Flowers: Red Maple is monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Flowers appear in very early spring. Red Maple produces fruit after about 4 years of growth, with good seed crops yearly.

Red Maples flower in very early spring

Fruit: A single Maple seed is contained in a key; a doubly-winged samara. Maple keys twirl to the ground, dispersed by wind and water. Red Maple keys drop in the spring. 

Bark: The bark is grayish-brown with scaly ridges.

This medium-sized tree grows up to 25 metres.

Wood: Red Maple has soft wood, and is sold collectively with Silver Maple as "Soft" Maple.
Specific gravity: 0.54
Janka Hardness: 950 lb

Wood Comparison Chart

Red Maple, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre