Maple trees are one of the nicest trees you can have in your garden. They can offer the right amount of shade, and the fall color is glorious come autumn, not to mention flowers in the spring.
While there are many varieties, you will find one of the best you can have is the native North America Red Maple (Acer Rubrum).
They have some of the best colors you can imagine in the autumn, and you may find these suitable to begin delivering shade faster than other varieties.
You can find the Red Sunset maple pros and cons in this guide, and a few Red Maple trees facts. (Read How Far To Plant Fruit Trees Apart)
Once you finish reading, you will soon see if these trees are suitable mature height tree for your garden. You can also find what you need to care for this tree species once you have them in your yard.
Is Red Maple a Good Shade Tree?
A common maple native in the United States is the red maple, which is well known for the characteristic crimson red autumn fall color of the foliage.
Many are not aware that they will turn a golden yellow color once the fall arrives, depending on which cultivar you have.
The American Maple tree is fast-growing and can reach a height of over 60 feet tall; thus, they can offer large amounts of shade across your garden area.
Where Do Red Maples Grow Best?
The maple can thrive in a varied range of soils and climates that offer different temperatures. It can reach as far north as Newfoundland and south to southern Florida.
If you check United States USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9, you can see many maples grow in these, although not every species of these shade trees cope with these.
It likes a well-drained soil, yet it is tolerant to cope with poor drainage and an occasional flood, and growth rates can vary depending on which hardiness zones you are in.
You will find other varieties of fast-growing maples in the United States, such as the Silver Maple (zones 3 to 9 range), which is a fast grower. However, the silver maple tree grows and produces wood that can easily split and offers lots of early spring litter.
Bigtooth Maple (zones 4 to 8) is full of color in the fall, yet this variety doesn’t grow as tall, and this maple grows slower at a slower rate per year. (Read What Zone Am I In For Gardening)
Do Red Maples Grow Fast?
Many gardeners want trees that they don’t want to wait too many years to see the results. As a result, they can ask how fast do red maple trees grow?
Maple may be the solution as you can begin seeing results in a few years, though it takes longer to mature. You will start to see new leaves as your tree grows in size and increases one year after another. (Learn How Long Does it Take for a Tree to Grow)
When growing in zones 3 to 9, maple grows around 36 inches per year. They can reach a mature height of approximately 65 feet and a spread of 40 to 50 feet in size.
The “red” refers to the brilliantly colored red fall foliage and the red spring flowers and red seeds.
When Should I Plant a Red Maple Tree?
You will see maples that can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Besides the trees you can purchase from a nursery, you have a couple of ways to begin planting maple trees.
Growing Maple from Cuttings
- Take a 4-inch cutting from the tips of a young tree in the midsummer or mid-autumn.
- Remove leaves from the lower half of the stem.
- Scrape bark from the lower stem using a knife before rolling it in powdered rooting hormone.
- Push the lower 2-inches of your cutting into a pot filled with a moist rooting medium.
- Keep air surrounding the plant by enclosing the pot inside a plastic bag. You can also cover it using a milk jug that has the bottom cut out.
- Once it takes root, remove your cuttings from the cover and place them in a sunny location.
Planting Maple Trees from Seeds
You can start an American Red maple tree from seeds. These Maple tree seeds mature in spring toward early summer. You can find they also do the same in late fall. It does, however, depend on the species. (Read Can You Grow Cherry Trees From Cherry Pits)
- Not every species needs special treatment, though you can put them all through cold stratification to be safe.
- This tricks seeds into thinking they are in the winter, and once you remove them from the cold, it’s a safe time of year to germinate.
- Plant your seeds about three-quarters of an inch deep in your moist peat moss, then place them inside a plastic bag. Put this inside your refrigerator for 60 to 90 days.
- Once you take them from the refrigerator, place your pots in warm locations, and as soon as they germinate, place them in a full sun window.
- Make sure to keep the soil conditions moist but well-drained, and you don’t have too wet soil.
Growing Maple Trees
Here are the steps to take when you transplant and care for your seedlings.
- Transplant seedlings and your cuttings are a few inches tall into a pot you have filled using good quality potting soils.
- Potting soil has all the nutrients they need for a few months. You can feed them using half-strength liquid houseplant fertilizer weekly or 10 days.
- Fall is the best time to plant maple tree seedlings outdoors. You can, though, plant them anytime the ground isn’t frozen.
- Please select a location that offers full sun or partial shade, yet it has well-drained soil.
- Dig the hole as deep as the container size yet around 2 to 3 feet wide.
- Place your plant in the hole, and make sure your soil line of the stem is the same height as the surrounding soil. If you bury your stem too deep, it can lead to rot.
- Fill the hole with your removed soil (don’t add fertilizer).
- Using your foot, push down, or you can add water periodically to help remove large air pockets.
- Once you fill the hole, level the soil and the area deeply.
- You can add 2-inches of mulch to help keep the soil moist.
- Don’t fertilize the new growth of your tree until the second spring after it was planted. You can use an inch of compost or 10-10-10 fertilizer.
- Only use fertilizer only if needed; if they grow too fast, the branches can be weak and break when full of leaves. Wood rot may be likely as well.
- If your maple tree has bright leaves and is growing as expected, you shouldn’t need fertilizer.
Read more: Best Garden Hoses