Red Leaved Maple Tree: Varieties, Grow, Planting, Care

The Japanese red leaved maple tree gained recognition not only in Southeast Asia, from where it appeared in our area, but throughout the world thanks to its delightful red foliage.

In Japan, this ornamental plant is incredibly popular: it is grown not only outdoors, but also on balconies, terraces, sidewalks, and garden pots.

red leaved maple tree

Landscape design professionals from all over the world are especially sensitive to this tree with purple, orange and maroon crown.

With its unusual graceful leaf coloration, the red maple challenges familiar green spaces. It perfectly took root, besides, some island, along with the Japanese islands and South Korean shores, is a natural area of ​​its wide distribution.

Red Leaved maple tree

Famous Varieties of Red Leaved maple tree

Under the single name red maple, there are several types of maple with its inherent crimson foliage. The most famous of these are

  • Japanese maple,
  • Shirasavi, and
  • Palm-leaved.

Maple owes its charming appearance and rare color to its special biochemical structure. In addition to chlorophyll, which provides a green coloration, the tree has a variety of carotenoids that impart yellow, purple and amber colors.

And also the cell sap of the maple contains anthocyanins, which color the foliage in crimson and ruby ​​tones, which are very harmoniously combined with the gray color of the maple bark.

characteristics of Red maple

Maple, which belongs to the deciduous family, is beautiful not only in autumn but also in May. Its expressive bright flowers bloom in late spring.

The tree easily adapts to various natural conditions: it is not afraid of the polluted ecology of the metropolis, it grows well in swampy and arid areas.

Often, decorative species are used in landscape design: long alleys are planted from them, gardens and bonsai are organized.

More than twenty species of this amazing plant grow in Russia, its detailed description is set out below:

  • The homeland of the red maple is the eastern regions of North America.
  • The plant reaches a height of 8 to 29 meters, and the trunk of a tree can reach 1.5 meters in diameter.
  • Most often, its crown is round, oval or mushroom-shaped.
  • The dissected finger-like leaves resemble fishnet gloves.
  • Maple leaves reach a length of 11 cm, located on the opposite branches. According to the variety, maple leaves can have 3 to 5 blades. Before the arrival of winter, all the foliage falls off.
  • The trunk of the tree is covered with a smooth light gray bark, which becomes darker over the years.
  • The fruit of the maple is a small lionfish, colored brown, brownish or yellow according to the variety.

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Planting of Red Leave maple

The red-leaved maple is a very hardy plant, but with proper care, the tree should be protected from direct sunlight, drafts and frost below minus 15 degrees.

planting of red leave maple

A wind-sheltered area is the best place in the garden for this tree.

Maple is often planted in “mountain” gardens, where they are in perfect harmony with dark conifers. It looks great in both single and small group plantings.

Consider useful recommendations for the correct planting of the Japanese maple:

  • The distance between the seedlings should be between 1.5 and 3.5 meters.
  • A hole must be dug with a depth of 50-70 cm.
  • If there is waterlogged soil, then careful drainage of the site will be required.
  • The well is half filled with water and complex fertilizers are certainly added to the soil.

See also Best Low Maintenance Hanging Plants.

Care for red leaved maple tree

Certain types of red leaf maple are professionally bred by experienced breeders for growing in tubs and containers.

Trees 1.5 meters high do not like too waterlogged soil. In addition to watering, any maple growing outdoors or in a tub should be fertilized.

The frequency of watering is determined by the growing area and the weather. With insufficient watering, the maple planting will survive, but will lose all its decorative effect.

When caring for this picturesque tree, you should pay close attention to its correct pruning. Maple does not need radical pruning, you just need to cut dry and damaged branches in time.

In addition, it is required to seal defects on the bark in a timely manner with garden pitch in order to protect the plant from pests and diseases.

But the maple becomes especially elegant and decorative after shearing, which can give the tree a truly amazing shape. And in combination with the crimson color of the foliage, this creates a truly magical effect.

Preparatrion for red maple for winter

Many varieties of Red Maple have remarkable winter hardiness characteristics. However, it is advisable to protect young trees from severe frosts.

For example, a maple trunk can be covered with spruce branches. In order not to freeze the roots, a dense layer of mulch is added to the trunk circle.

In order for the wintering to be successful, fertilizers containing nitrogen are stopped from July. Wood needs only potassium and phosphorus for frost resistance.

In the autumn, before the soil freezes, water-charging irrigation is carried out, which protects the root system from damage.

If the winter is snowless, an additional method of insulation is used – the trunk is wrapped in burlap or other suitable material.

If, after the end of severe frosts, you see frozen shoots, do not worry – in the spring the plant will begin to dynamically grow shoots and quickly recover.

Interesting facts about red maple tree

In addition to its luxurious decorative properties, maple has a number of productive ecological and economic functions. Some countries use its bark to make purple paint.

In addition, the bark of the plant has a considerable supply of tannin and sugar. Maple leaves are rich in vitamin C, so they are used as a useful feed for sheep and goats.

During the flowering period, many bees gather around it, actively collecting nectar. In the spring, when the buds are just beginning to swell, sap is collected from the tree, from which sugar can be obtained with the necessary processing.

The juice flows actively during the day, and at night this process is suspended. It is noticed that after swelling of the buds, the juice acquires a greenish color and becomes cloudy, that is, it is unsuitable for making sugar.

In the United States, maple juice is used to make delicious and healthy syrups, and in Canada, this tree is considered a national symbol, the leaf of which is even depicted on the country’s flag.

See also All About Drainage For Houseplants.


It is very tempting to plant a charming standard Redleaf Maple in your garden.

However, such a tree will have to not only water, loosen the trunk circle, weed the ground, feed, fight pests and diseases.

Such plants require special care, namely, specific pruning and preparation for wintering. Pruning is intended for the removal of sick, dead, old, as well as branches growing in an unnecessary direction.

In addition, for the best branching, you should cut off the tops of the shoots, but first of all, you need to make sure that there are no overgrowths on the trunk.

Caring for an ornamental tree with purple-crimson foliage is not at all difficult. In the wild, Red-leaved maples are not looked after and they have been growing remarkably well for over a hundred years.

Young and decorative maples are more in need of human participation, this allows them to keep their beauty in the best possible way.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴