Florida Red Maple Tree

Acer rubrum

The pretty Florida red maple tree is one of the few trees in Florida with a showy color change when winter weather arrives.

Florida red maple tree with red foliage

The large leaves turn reddish-bronze before they fall off during our brief South Florida winters. And new growth in spring is tinged with a beautiful reddish hue.

This tree doesn't get as large as maples in the North. Although it grows tall it won't get especially broad so it works well in a medium-size yard... and even many small yards.

The maple can be interplanted among other trees or planted in groups to create a woodland setting on a large, plain property.

Don't plant grass up to the trunk. This tree forms surface roots that a lawn mower can damage.

This native tree is a great food source for birds.

front yard tree

Plant specs

This tree is a fast grower to about 40 feet.

It takes full to part sun but will also live in partial shade.

Maples are deciduous, losing their leaves in winter. They provide a burst of stunning color before they drop leaves.

In late winter/early spring a maple will produce samaras, winged dried fruit that looks like red feathers, for a striking effect.

maple samaras

These are cold hardy trees, fine anywhere in South Florida and actually prefer cooler areas.

The red maple can handle "wet feet" - areas that stay moist after heavy rains. It also does very well planted by a pond.

young tree by a pond

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat moss mixed with composted cow manure to the hole when you plant.

You will have to rake (or blow) fallen leaves, so consider planting far enough into the lawn so that leaf litter doesn't cover walks and drives.

Trimming isn't necessary other than to remove any lower branches in the way of foot or vehicle traffic.

Water on a regular basis.

Fertilize 3 times a year - in spring, summer and fall - with a good granular fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Place this tree at least 15 feet from the house.

Come away from walks and drives 15 feet to keep surface roots from becoming a problem as the tree matures.

Landscape uses for Florida red maple tree

  • single yard specimen
  • accent by a pond
  • along the property line
  • among other trees in a woodland area


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Nearby plants might include blueberry flax lily, orange bird of paradise, carissa, dwarf firebush, yesterday today and tomorrow, and Mexican heather.

iOther trees you might like: Sycamore, Mahoe

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