Common Names: Red maple, swamp maple, water maple, soft maple
One of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern North America. It is a medium to large sized tree, typically reaching heights of 18 to 27 meters. The leaves are usually 9 to 11 cm long on a full grown tree. The trunk diameter can range from 46 to 76 cm, depending on the growing conditions. Its spread is about 12 meters. The bark is a pale grey and smooth when the individual is young. As the tree grows the bark becomes darker and cracks into slightly raised long plates. The leaves of the red maple offer the easiest way to distinguish it from its relatives. As with nearly all maple trees, they are deciduous and arranged oppositely on the twig. They are typically 5 to 10 cm long and wide with 3 to 5 palmate lobes with a serrated margin. The sinuses are typically narrow, but the leaves can exhibit considerable variation. The twigs of the red maple are reddish in color and somewhat shiny with small lenticels. Dwarf shoots are present on many branches. The buds are usually blunt and greenish to reddish in color, generally with several loose scales. The lateral buds are slightly stalked, and in addition there may be collateral buds present as well. The buds form in fall and winter and are often visible from a distance due to their reddish tint.
Found in deciduous and mixed forests as well as residential and urban areas. Basically everywhere.