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Red Maple Swamp Maple Soft Maple White Maple

=Habitat and Range.=--Borders of streams, low lands, wet forests,

swamps, rocky hillsides.

Nova Scotia to the Lake of the Woods.

Common throughout New England from the sea to an altitude of 3000 feet

on Katahdin.

South to southern Florida; west to Dakota, Nebraska, and Texas.

=Habit.=--A medium-sized tree, 40-50 feet high, rising occasionally in

swamps to a height of 60-75 feet; trunk 2-4 feet in diameter, throwing

out limbs at varying angles a few feet from the ground; branches and

branchlets slender, forming a bushy spray, the tips having a slightly

upward tendency; head compact, in young trees usually rounded and

symmetrical, widest just above the point of furcation. In the first warm

days of spring there shimmers amid the naked branches a faint glow of

red, which at length becomes embodied in the abundant scarlet, crimson,

or yellow of the long flowering stems; succeeded later by the brilliant

fruit, which is outlined against the sober green of the foliage till it

pales and falls in June. The colors of the autumn leaves vie in

splendor with those of the sugar maple.

=Bark.=--In young trees smooth and light gray, becoming very dark and

ridgy in large trunks, the surface separating into scales, and in very

old trees hanging in long flakes; young shoots often bright red in

autumn, conspicuously marked with oblong white spots.

=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds aggregated at or near the ends of the

preceding year's shoots, about 1/8 inch long; protected by dark reddish

scales; inner scales lengthening with the growth of the shoot. Leaves

simple, opposite, 3-4 inches long, green and smooth above, lighter and

more or less pubescent beneath, especially along the veins; turning

crimson or scarlet in early autumn; ovate, 3-5-lobed, the middle lobe

generally the longest, the lower pair (when 5 lobes are present) the

smallest; unequally sharp-toothed, with broad, acute sinuses; apex

acute; base heart-shaped, truncate, or obtuse; leafstalk 1-3 inches

long. The leaves of the red maple vary greatly in size, outline, lobing,

and shape of base.

=Inflorescence.=--April 1-15. Appearing before the leaves in close

clusters encircling the shoots of the previous year, varying in color

from dull red or pale yellow to scarlet; the sterile and fertile flowers

mostly in separate clusters, sometimes on the same tree, but more

frequently on different trees; calyx lobes oblong and obtuse; petals

linear-oblong; pedicels short; stamens 5-8, much longer than the petals

in the sterile and about the same length in the fertile flowers; the

smooth ovary surmounted by a style separating into two much-projecting

stigmatic lobes.

=Fruit.=--Fruit ripe in June, hanging on long stems, varying from brown

to crimson; keys about an inch in length, at first convergent, at

maturity more or less divergent.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; found in a wider

range of soils than any other species of the genus, but seeming to

prefer a gravelly or peaty loam in positions where its roots can reach a

constant supply of moisture. It is more variable than any other of the

native maples and consequently is not so good a tree for streets, where

a symmetrical outline and uniform habit are required. It is

transplanted readily, but recovers its vigor more slowly than does the

sugar or silver maple and is usually of slower growth. Its variable

habit makes it an exceedingly interesting tree in the landscape.

1. Leaf-buds.

2. Flower-buds.

3. Branch with sterile flowers.

4. Sterile flower.

5. Branch with sterile and fertile flowers.

6. Fertile flower.

7. Fruiting branch.

8. Variant leaves.

=Acer saccharinum, L.=

Acer dasycarpum, Ehrh.

Next: Silver Maple Soft Maple White Maple River Maple

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