Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Spectacular Autumn Beauty of the Red Maple Tree (Acer Rubrum)

Autumn is more that just a forerunner to sometimes dreary winter months. It is when nature chooses to remind us of her splendor, and all the rich colors that accompany it. One of the best examples of this is the Acer Rubrum, also called Red Maple. The aptly named tree displays different red hues which deepen during autumn. For this reason it is one of the first trees most people associate with the rich colors of the season.

The Red Maple can reach as much as 150 ft, but its height generally ranges from 50 – 80 ft. Clearly it is not the first choice for the average homeowner, but with adequate space one or more trees can make quite a difference. If you have a large garden or lots of yard space, stately Red Maples can add to the overall look. They are also popular choices in many park areas as shade trees or just to create a pleasing landscape. The Acer Rubrum is one of the numerous varieties of maple available at many plant nurseries.

Advantages of the Acer Rubrum

Many trees and plants have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to the Red Maple the pluses are many. From the outset, the young tree’s roots adapt to any soil type. This is generally true no matter what the conditions are. They are also for the most part more resistant to pollution than many other types of trees.

Even areas that are prone to flooding are generally fine to plant the Red Maple. There is much evidence that long periods of flooding have left many of these trees with little or no damage. Conversely they can also adapt quite nicely to extremely dry weather by limiting their growth until conditions improve. Your plant nursery of choice is likely to suggest the Acer Rubrum as the first choice for the above reasons. Be sure to ask around as some nurseries may be offering them on sale, ensuring that you get the best deal possible.

Maple Syrup

When you hear the words Red Maple, you are likely to think of maple syrup. The Acer Rubrum is a known source, but the window of opportunity for harvesting is smaller than it is with other varieties. It is not the first choice for most maple syrup producers, but the sap it produces is in fact of similar quality and flavor.

Very few trees say autumn as much the Red Maple does. It conjures up images of children rolling around in piles of brightly colored leaves, and maybe a few adults too. It is also known for its fruit, an elongated double samara that spins circularly as it falls. This has earned them the nickname ‘helicopters’. With many Red Maple trees living to over 150 years, you can be sure of great autumn colors and beautiful memories for years to come.

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