Care of Red Maple Trees


The red maple (Acer rubrum) is a fast-growing tree that reaches up to 80 feet in height with a 45-foot spread. The red maple tree is known for its bright red fall foliage and smooth, gray bark. Red maple trees can live for up to 200 years, thriving in partial to full sunlight and moist to wet soils. Often planted in landscapes as shade trees, red maples have shallow, spreading root systems that can lift up sidewalks, driveways and patios. The surface roots can also interfere with lawn mowing.

Step 1

Water your red maple trees deeply once per week throughout the spring, summer and autumn in the absence of rainfall. Your red maple trees need at least 1 inch of water per week while it's actively growing.

Step 2

Feed your red maple trees once each year in early spring with a slow-release, 10-10-10 NPK complete tree fertilizer. Follow the fertilizer dosage instructions on the package.

Step 3

Prune your red maple trees to remove dead or diseased growth at any time of year. Thin out crowded branches in late winter. Make your pruning cuts at the crotch of the limb, where it meets the trunk.

Step 4

Prune away any branches damaged by ice or winter storms in early spring. Allow the red maple tree to green up and begin new growth before pruning, so that you can more easily see which growth is dead or dying.

Step 5

Treat your red maple tree for diseases like verticillium wilt, anthracnose and tar spot by pruning away and destroying all diseased growth. Apply an appropriate fungicide to the tree, according to the directions on the label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for infestations of insects, such as the Asian longhorned beetle, aphids, cottony scale, leafhoppers, petiole borers and gall mites. If you detect insects on your red maple tree, apply an appropriate insecticide or horticultural oil.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Slow-release 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer
  • Pruning tools
  • Fungicides (optional)
  • Chelated iron tablets (optional)
  • Insecticides or horticultural oils (optional)


  • Red Maple
  • Maple Tree Care

Who Can Help

  • Red Maple
Keywords: red maple trees, red maple care, grow Acer rubrum

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.