Acer rubrum 'Red Sunset' - Red Maple

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Butterfly FriendlyPart ShadeBird FriendlyFall Color
Red Maple
Acer rubrum 'Red Sunset'

Dense clusters of red flowers in early spring are a great nectar source. Cardinals, chipmunks and squirrels eat the red, winged "helicopter" fruits. The stems and twigs are reddish, the buds are red, and in fall, the leaves turn orange-red. 'Red Sunset' is one of the best cultivars available, with outstanding orange to red fall color. Swamp red maple grows faster than Norway and sugar maples, but slower than silver maple.

  • Flowers early drawing all kinds of pollinators
  • Insect-eating birds visit the tree to feed on the pollinators
  • Seeds are a great food for birds and chipmunks
  • Provides cover and nest sites for all kinds of birds
  • Outstanding fall color and grows in wet soil

Native Range

Woods and swamps of Eastern North America; Newfoundland to Manitoba south to Eastern Texas and Florida.



Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


Swamp red maple is one of the earliest blooming trees in the northeast. The flowers provide nectar for small bees, flies and beetles, which in turn attract insect-eating birds such as kinglets, phoebes, pine warblers and others.




Plant in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic soils with good drainage but grows well in average to wet, well-drained soil. This is a big tree so give it plenty of room to reach full size.


Mature Size: 40-50ft. Tall x 40-50ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

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