Types of Red Maples

Red maples trees (Acer rubrum) are known for their beautiful spring flowers and outstanding fall color. The tree is so named for the masses of red flowers produced in the spring, and the bright red or deep burgundy color the leaves become in the autumn. On average, red maples grow to between 40 and 60 feet tall. There are 16 types, or cultivars, of the red maple tree (some of which are hybrids) and all have their positives and negatives.

October Glory

'October Glory' is a red maple that does very well in the warm, humid summer climate of the south. This red maple has a rounded silhouette and has glossy green leaves in the summer. The leaves stay green for a long time, finally turning bright red or orange later in the fall. Choose 'October Glory' if you live in the South and want late fall color--an early freeze can prevent the leaves from turning.

Red Sunset

'Red Sunset' is one of the hardiest red maples. This tree is a fast grower that can reach heights of over 60 feet. The red sunset maple is tolerant of temperature extremes and can survive summer droughts and cold spring and fall temperatures. The tree has more of a vertical, slender shape than many other red maples and features brilliant reddish-orange fall color. It is an excellent choice for climates that fluctuate in their weather conditions.

Autumn Flame

'Autumn Flame' is usually considered a red maple although it is a cross between a silver and red maple. This tree is rounded and has smaller, more delicate leaves than many other red maples. It is a rapidly-growing tree and changes color early. The fall foliage is a deep red.


This red maple tree is a rapid grower and is one of the largest of the red maples--growing to heights of over 70 feet. The tree has leaves that are more purple or burgundy than orange-red. 'Schlesingeri' is desirable for its ability to maintain fall color for a very long time. This tree, which is a broad as it is tall, is often the last of the deciduous trees to drop its leaves in the fall.

Keywords: red maple cultivars, types of, Acer rubrum

About this Author

April Sanders has been an educator since 1998. Nine years later she began writing curriculum. She currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education.