Red Maple is a tree located throughout all of Ohio, found naturally in moist areas of open woodlands and more commonly along creeks and bottomlands where the soil is constantly moist to wet. In urban areas, it is abundantly found as a popular shade tree, noted for its brilliant red fall color.
Red Maple is native to the entire eastern half of the United States and adjoining southern Canada. Specimens found in the open may grow to 70 feet tall by 40 feet wide, and its soft wood is not nearly as prone to storm damage as is that of Silver Maple. Its branching is upright and generally symmetrical when young, becoming more rounded at maturity and generally without the downswept nature of its lower limbs (like those of Silver Maple). As a member of the Maple Family, it is related to all other species of Maple.
Planting Requirements - Although Red Maple has been called a cosmopolitan species (meaning that it can be found in many different environments in nature), it strongly prefers deep, moist to wet, acidic, rich soils. This site preference gives it the alternative common name of Swamp Maple. It grows in full sun to partial sun, and is found in zones 3 to 9.
Potential Problems- The number one problem associated with Red Maple is its being transplanted into clay soils of alkaline pH, where it often lives under constant stress and becomes stunted. Alkaline soils (also known as high pH soils) result in manganese deficiency, which results in poor iron uptake, which leads to poor nitrogen utilization, which is visualized as chlorotic (yellowing and scorched) leaves and overall stunted growth. Heavy clay soils induce an even greater degree of surface roots than is normal with Red Maple. In addition, weakened trees are more subject to pest and pathogen attack, although Red Maple usually does not have serious problems with borers or Verticillium wilt, its most frequent problems in this area.
The Red Maple is one of 8 tree seedlings which will be offered in the 2014 Tree Sale held by the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District. Other seedlings include Douglas fir, Sawtooth oak, American chestnut, Butternut, White Pine, Tulip Poplar, and Black Alder. Also available this year are 2 varieties of apples; Nova Spy and Goldrush. The district will also offer 2 varieties of blueberry; Aurora, and Blue Ray. New this year is a cover crop mix for gardeners. And as usual, the district has high quality all cedar birdfeeders and houses for sale. For more information and to receive an order blank, please call 740-432-5624.