An individual instance of Acer rubrum (red maple)
Image of organism
Permanent unique identifier for this particular organism:



Acer rubrum L., red maple, is a wide-ranging native tree that is very well adapted to most soil and site conditions.  This species is one of the early harbingers of fall as it turns color well in advance of other eastern deciduous trees, especially when it is located in wet sites.  The fiery colors of fall are typically a brilliant red.  Conversely, it is also one of the earliest flowering trees in the spring.  Red maple has the smallest winged seeds (samaras) of all native maples, about 5/8-3/4 inches long.  Also, the samaras ripen in the spring- a trait shared only with silver maple which has much larger samaras.  This maple is a medium sized tree with fairly rapid growth (2-5 ft/yr), but not as fast as the much larger growing silver maple.


Erosion control: Red maple is available in quantity for revegetation work and landscaping.  It is a valuable riparian buffer plant due mostly to it's tolerance of wetter soils.

Wildlife: Red maple seeds provide food for squirrels and some birds.  The species is not preferred by deer as a browse source, so in heavy deer pressure this species is over abundant in forest regeneration.

Wood: The wood is not desirable for lumber or veneer.

Adaptation and Distribution

Red maple is adapted to wet sites where it associates with black ash, cottonwood, and black gum.  Some forested wetlands are referred to as maple swamps due to their stands of red maple.  However, red maple is also well adapted to well drained but moist soils of upland sites where its companions are sugar maple, beech, black cherry and the birches.  This capability makes this species a common tree in home landscapes where the fall colors can be displayed.  The range of red maple extends from Florida to the Maritimes and west to Texas and Minnesota.  Red maple is shade tolerant.


Dickerson, J. (2006). Plant fact sheet for red maple (acer rubrum L.). Retrieved from


home button FindMe button QR Code

 Load database and switch to thumbnail view

Use this stable URL to link to this page:

This particular organism is believed to have managed means of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.


Acer rubrum


sec. Tennessee Flora 2014

common name: red maple
family: Aceraceae
Identified 2016-03-13 by Patrick Phoebus


McFarland Photography Building, MTSU Boulevard, Rutherford County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 35.8493°, -86.3634°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.
Altitude: 190 m.

Location calculated as average of its images' coordinates.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

The following images document this particular organism.
Click on a thumbnail to view the image and its metadata. Load database and enable navigation by taxon and organism.

Image View
whole tree (or vine) - unspecified
whole tree (or vine) - unspecified
whole tree (or vine) - general
bark - unspecified
bark - of a large tree
leaf - showing orientation on twig
inflorescence - whole - unspecified
inflorescence - whole - unspecified

Tennessee Flora 2014 =

Tennessee Flora Committee, 2014. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee (editors: E. W. Chester, B. E. Wofford, J. Shaw, D. Estes, and D. H. Webb). The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN, US.

Metadata last modified: 2019-10-16T22:24:42.018-05:00
RDF formatted metadata for this organism