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American red maple

Latin name: Acer rubrum
Common name: American red maple
Plant group:
Bonsai trees - outdoor
Plant family:
Continental climate
Minimal temperature: °C (°F)
Optimal temperature: 24-26°C (75-78°F)
Recommended place:
Plant form:
tree-like, arboraceous
Height: 50 cm (19.5 in.)
Flower color:
Repotting: every 24 months (2 years)
Rarity: no
Maple mealybug (Phenacoccus aceris)
Privet mite (Brevipalpus obovatus)
Chlorosis ()
Origin territory:
Flowering period            
Availability on market            

Also called Swamp Maple, A. rubrum in nature is a tree, 60 to 75 feet tall. Young trees are often pyramidal or elliptical and are fast growers with strong wood. Older trees develop ascending branches, resulting in an ovoid or rounded crown. A common tree of mixed hardwood and floodplain forests. It is best to select trees for a specific area that have been grown from seed collected there. There is ample evidence to suggest that trees native to a specific area are more likely to be hardy there. Tolerates ozone and is somewhat tolerant of sulfer dioxide, making it a good tree for urban areas.


Leaves are opposite, 2 to 4 inches, quite variable in shape, 3-5 lobes, dullish green, with (usually) reddish leafstalk. They turn brilliant red, orange and yellow in fall. In N. Florida there is a variety with consistently 1.5 inch leaves that is mostly 3-lobed (possibly trilobum variant) and has a generally dull yellow leaf color in fall. The leaves appear in late spring, as the maple seeds mature.


Small, showy red flowers begin to bloom in late winter or early spring (second week in February in northern Florida) and bloom through March. Fruits and seeds are winged and often, but not always, red. They occur in great profusion in late spring and early summer.


Repotting: Small specimens may be bare rooted for transplant. Larger specimens must be balled and burlapped in order to be moved.


Potting and root pruning should be done in spring, as leaf buds turn a brighter red. This tree, when mature, is quite hardy and will suffer severe root pruning to no disadvantage that I can see. (However, I would not strip leaves in the same year as the severe root pruning.) Since this is a tree of usually wet to damp soils, the tap root is not well developed.