• Central Park Conservancy Logo

Red Maple

Red Maple Tree
The red maple is at least a little bit red in every season. In spring, its small flowers are red, making way for red-tinged winged seeds called samaras. In summer, look for the red maple's red stems. In fall, red maples blaze forth in a fiery spectacle all over Central Park, and once the leaves drop, in late winter, it takes on a pinky glow as flower buds tint its branches.

Common Name: Red Maple

Scientific Name: Acer rubrum

Origin: Eastern United States and Canada

Family: Aceraceae

Size: 40 - 70' tall, can be over 100' tall

Form: Pyramidal or elliptical when young, spreading more with age, eventually developing a rounded or oval outline

Culture: Easily transplanted; prefers moist, acidic soils; adaptable and tolerant of many conditions including occasional flooding; develops manganese chlorosis on alkaline soils; tolerates partial shade but thrives in full sun


2 - 4" long, opposite arrangement, three or five-lobed; color: medium green upper leaf, gray-green or 'frosty" underside, red in fall


Showy, red or orange, bloom in late March and April


0.75" samaras


Young bark smooth and ash-gray, almost silver; older branches and trunk covered with scaly gray-brown bark