Red Maple is a wide-ranging native tree that is very well adapted to most soil and site conditions. This species is one of the early harbingers of fall as it turns color well in advance of other eastern deciduous trees, especially when it is located in wet sites. The fiery colors of fall are typically brilliant red. Conversely, it is also one of the earliest flowering trees in the spring. Red maple has the smallest winged seeds (samaras) of all native maples, about 5/8-3/4 inches long. Also, the samaras ripen in the spring- a trait shared only with silver maple which has much larger samaras. This Red Maple is a medium-sized tree with fairly rapid growth (2-5 ft/yr), but not as fast as the much larger growing silver maple.
Stratify maple seeds by mixing 4 parts fine particle peat moss in a bowl with 1 part horticultural sand and watering it well. Place the seeds in the center of the mixture, covering them and working them into a loose ball. Seal this inside a plastic bag and leave it for three days in a warm place. Then, place it in the refrigerator at a temperature of 39 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit for two to four months. After this period, plant the stratified seeds in the spring.
The red maple sap contains sugar that you can drink or that can be concentrated in a tasty syrup boiling in hot water. The sap can be used as a sweetener for many drinks and foods, but red maple only produces a small amount compared to the sugar maple tree.
These plants need little care. You must keep the soil around their roots moist while they are still young. But, after that, they will need watering only during long periods without rainfall. Nor do they require pruning, generally. If you have a specific reason to prune them, do so in late spring or early summer. Likewise, fertilizing is not a necessity if you plant them in the ground that is already moderately fertile.
Plant these maples in the fall or spring on a site with full sun. Autumn Blaze maple tree care is easiest if the trees are planted in well-drained, moist, fertile soil. However, like silver maple, Autumn Blaze tolerates poor soil as well.
Plant Autumn Blaze across the United States in USDA growing zones 3-8. Prefers well-drained soil but can tolerate a wide range of planting sites. Because of the autumn blaze maple size, it is an excellent lawn, street, park, or urban tree. Once it reaches maturity it is an excellent shade tree as well. Plant in full sun to partial shade to reach the maximum growth height.