WSU Clark County Extension

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Autumn Flame Red Maple

Scientific name: Acer rubrum 'Autumn Flame'

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 8
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:60 ft
Width:45 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:Red
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description In the nursery trade Autumn Flame Red Maple is noted as one of the first red maple cultivars to turn color. The red color comes on a week earlier than the popular Red Sunset cultivar.

This red maple cultivar grows to 40’- 60’ tall and as wide. This is a fast growing tree which develops a dense rounded shape. Leaves are star-shaped and green during the summer. Leaves are arranged in an opposite fashion and are simple. This cultivar was introduced in 1964 by A. McGill & Sons Nursery, Fairview, Oregon as a male tree, thus avoiding the problems with winged samaras.

Flowering begins in April. The flowers are red and not all that notable.

Young trees feature a smooth light gray bark which can split after a winter cold spell. Older trees have a dark gray, heavily furrowed bark.

This species is well adapted to lower ground and can tolerate heavy, wet sites. It requires full sun to achieve the best in fall color. Avoid drought prone sites or those with excessive summer winds.

High populations of aphids can cause leaf drop. A heavy aphid infestation often leads to a proliferation of honey dew onto the lower leaves and the lawn beneath the limbs. Rarely do aphids need to be controlled on this tree.

For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234