The majestic sunset red maple (Acer rubrum) is a grand tree that reveals its beautiful red and yellow foliage every fall. In the spring and summer, this deciduous tree has a dense canopy spreads for a circumference of 25 to 40 feet, providing excellent shade for homeowners. In right conditions, plenty of light, irrigation, and room for root growth, this tree can thrive.
The tree grows at a rate of about 24 inches each year. As the tree forms, its canopy begins in a pyramidal form and eventually becomes rounded and dense. In full maturity, it can reach heights of 45 to 50 feet. The sunset red maple does well in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's zones 4b to 8b. It will grow well in dry and wet zones, as it is tolerant of a variety of soils.
In the spring between March and April, before the appearance of its green leaves, this tree produces red blossoms in dense clusters. In the fall the leaves change to become orange to yellow. In the winter, the tree loses its leaves, but the silvery gray of the tree trunk and the bright red twigs bring out the beauty of this tree year round.
The root system of this tree often consists of surface roots and usually extends as much as 80 feet from the tree's base. They need to be allowed this space. Do not pave areas, erect tall buildings or plant other trees within 40 feet of the sunset red maple. To avoid stunting this tree's growth or restricting its canopy, do not plant the sunset red maple near power lines and buildings. The sunset red maple needs to receive at least eight hours of direct sunlight, be planted in soil that is not alkaline in its PH and is planted soil that it gets plenty of water to grow into a bountiful tree.
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This tree is an excellent ornamental shade tree as it looks beautiful in the hot months and when the colder months arrive, it remains visibly pleasing with its red leaves and silvery trunk. It is often seen gracing the landscapes of parks, large private lawns, in parks, on banks along streams and along slow-draining pockets.