Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Scarlet Maple (Acer rubrum)
This isn’t actually a photograph but a botanical scan. I picked up the branch at the school across the street and after scanning modified it in Photoshop. The tree has been cut down now to make room for more parking so I am glad I saved a little piece of it. I can’t tell what cultivar it is but I am guessing ‘Red Sunset’ as they seem very popular and were all the rage for a while. Scanning leaves and branches can be a little tricky and I have not figured out a way to scan flowers.
Scarlet Maple is called that because of the fall color. The leaves are green during the season. It is an easy to cultivate tree that can grow in very moist conditions. It is one of the first trees to go in to color around here. I once managed a property that we selected all the best color Scarlet Maples (color varies because of the seed) and thinned out the weak ones. It is quite a nice show in the fall. There are many cultivars and I think that ‘October Glory’ is my favorite. I have a couple of ‘Armstrong’ Red Maples, which are strongly columnar, but the fall color is a little disappointing. This is one of the most abundant trees in the eastern North American forest. Its wood can be used for commercial purposes and it can even be tapped for syrup production.
(Synonyms: red swamp maple, swamp maple, soft maple, Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, and water maple)