Sunday, November 1, 2009
Red Maple, an Autumn Show-Off
Red maple (Acer rubrum Linnaeus) is exceptionally beautiful this time of year.
Also known as swamp maple, this magnificent tree really ups the ante of fall color with its vivid scarlet show.
According to Cornell University, the tree is commonly found in swamps but also does well on dry slopes, which is where my red maple grows.
I must admit to mostly forgetting about this tree for the better part of the year due to its less-than-prominent location on the edge of the property, on a slope I seldom explore except when picking the Japanese wineberries that grow in abundance there during summer's peak.
But one of the treats of autumn is to pause in my yardwork and look up from the raking or other outdoor chores, and this is the tree that captures the eye. (Those are the wineberries in the foreground.) There's still quite a bit of color in the New England woods, although the brilliant reds of sugar maples, burning bush and Japanese maples are sharing more of the spotlight with creamy orangey yellows, darker shades of burgundy and rust and everything in between.