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Red Maple
Acer rubrum

Early season red blooms, pollinator/wildlife benefits, tolerant of many soils. Large, single to multistem, deciduous tree with strongly ascending, medium-texture branches and a compact, narrow or rounded crown that may grow to a height of 60-90'. This native, moderate to fast-growing tree has red flowers, fruit, leaf stalks and autumn foliage. Red maple is often used in landscaping as a shade tree because of its rapid growth, tolerance of a wide range of soil conditions and brilliant fall color. This species is a mid- to late successional tree of the north woods, but it also occurs in deciduous forests of central WI and southern MN. Red maple is commonly used for erosion control, site restoration or rehabilitation, and riparian buffer strips. This species is a "supergeneralist," growing on a wide variety of sites and a broad range of conditions (sun, shade, high or low nutrients, dry to moist soils). The branches are very weak and can be easily damaged.

USDA symbol: ACRU

General Information

Plant TypeTree
Height40 to 70 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureMedium, Wet
Bloom ColorRed
Red Maple (Red Maple<div><em class="small">Acer rubrum</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Wildflowers (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceHigh
General Resilience7
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant

Pollinator Value: High

Bloom MonthsApril to May
Larval Host ofMoths
Specific Pollinators HostedLithophane patefacta
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Restoration, Upland Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism4
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Goodhue, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lake, Le Sueur, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Rice, Roseau, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Washington, Wright
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands