Red Maple Tree

Named to reflect its brilliant red autumn foliage. Due to its ability to thrive in a wide variety of soils and climates, the Red Maple is one of the most common hardwood trees in North America.

Red Maples can be identified based on the following characteristics:


The Red Maple grows to 60 – 90 feet tall. The bright red fall color derives its name. Grows in both dry and wet soil conditions. Lives up to 150 years.


Eastern North America, extending into Quebec, Ontario, and south into Florida. Found as far west as Minnesota and Texas.


The bark on young trees is light grey and smooth. On mature trees, the bark is darker, with grey or black ridges and narrow, scaly plates.


The leaf is 2 – 6 inches wide, usually with 3 lobes. The margins of the leaf contain small, sharp teeth. The mature leaves are light green with a whitish underside.

Twig / Bud

The twig is slender, shiny, and reddish in color. Buds are blunt, clustered, and 1/8—1/4 inch long.


The V-shaped, double-winged fruit develops in clusters, and is ½ – 1 inch long. The fruit matures in the spring (as opposed to the fall for a Sugar or Black Maple).

Content on this page is reproduced with permission from the Cornell Maple Program and Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.