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Scientific name: Anthophyta: Dicotyledonae: Sapindales: Aceraceae:
Common Name: Information Sheet, Red Maple

Country: USA
State/District: MD
County: Montgomery
Date (D-M-Y): 13 - 4 - 2002

Photographer: E. M. Barrows

Identifier: E. M. Barrows
Collector: not applicable
Location: Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park
Keywords: A Botanical Society of Washington BSWCOCNHP C & O Canal National Historical Park information sheet red fruit Red Maple
Additional Information:

Acer rubrum Linnaeus, Plaine Rouge, Red Maple, Scarlet Maple, Soft Maple, Swamp Maple (updated 2000 07 14, 2000 10 24, 2002 08 10) [Latin rubrum, red] (Sutton & Sutton 1985 plates 120, 180, 228; P, plate 11; Kricher & Morrison 1998 53, 135)

FE required name(s): Acer rubrum, Red Maple

      Please see “Information Sheet, Maples.”

      AR is native to Newfoundland and the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Manitoba, and south of the U.S. border into Mexico.   This tree is unique in that it lives in habitats from swamps through dry mountains.   It has the greatest north-south distribution of all tree species along the U.S. East Coast even growing in the Everglades.

      Identification by leaves:   please see “Information Sheet, Maples.”   AR is a highly variable species with several named varieties (Farrar 1995).   It hybridizes readily with Silver Maple, often forming intermediate individuals.   AR twigs do not have a strong odor like the one found in Silver Maples.

      General roles in forests.   ARs are autotrophs that generally live in forests, forest edges, successional areas, and yards.   Many kinds of organisms consume dead and living AR fruits, leaves, roots, and stems.

      Specific roles in forests.   AR is a pioneer species in old fields (Kricher and Morrison 1988, 128).   It is abundant in many areas from dry through very wet.   It is often a subcanopy species in mature forests and a dominant canopy species in very wet or very dry sites.   AR is becoming more and more abundant in US forests, in general, because Humans disturb soil and stop fires that would kill AR trees (Stevens 1999, 27 April: D1, D4).   Hickories, Oaks, and Pines are declining in number in U.S. forests because fires destroyed their competitors more in the past than they do at present.   Many organisms (including bees and flower flies) eat AR nectar, pollen, or both.   Honey Bees in the continental U.S. collect large amounts of AR nectar (Pellett 1978).   Beavers, Cottontail Rabbits, deer, and Varying Hares often eat AR's nutritious, palatable leaves, roots, and stems (Grimm 1957, 287).

      Human uses:   We frequently plant ARs as ornamentals and shade trees.   Horticulturalists recommend ARs for parks and roadsides, but not city streets where ARs are not hardy.   Pioneers made ink and cinnamon-brown and black dyes from an AR bark extract.   People sometimes make maple syrup from ARs.   We use AR wood for boxes, crates, distillation products, furniture, novelties, pulp, and wooden ware.

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