Home > Featured Articles > Tree of the Month: Autumn Spire Red Maple

Tree of the Month: Autumn Spire Red Maple

By Len Phillips, ASLA Emeritus


Trade Name: Autumn Spire Red Maple

Botanical Name: Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Spire’

Family: Aceraceae

Parentage: Selection by University of Minnesota

Year of Introduction: 2000

Plant Patent: # 7803

Height: 35 to 40 feet

Spread: 20 to 25 feet

Form: Upright oval

Flower: Red in early spring, male only

Fruit: None, seedless

Foliage: Lobbed with irregular teeth, green above, grayish underneath, red petiole

Spring Color: Reddish tinge in early spring turning to medium green

Summer Foliage: Mid to dark green

Autumn Foliage: Early bright red color

Winter Color: Handsome bark and tree form

Bark: Dark gray, scaly and ridged


Photos provided by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

East Coast to Mississippi River

Culture: Tolerant of most soils, slightly acidic, tolerates suburban air pollutants but not urban air

Site Requirements: Typical of the genus, sunny to partial shady site

Hardiness Zone*: 3 to 9

Growth Rate: Full size in less than 20 years

Pest Resistance: Excellent

Storm Resistance: Good

Salt Resistance: Fair

Planting: Transplant bare root, B&B, or container in spring

Pruning: Prune at planting and 3 years later to mature form

Propagating: Softwood cuttings in late summer on own roots

Design Uses: Ideal for streets, good in parks, residential areas, and commercial properties

Companions: Excellent in contrast with birch and evergreen trees

Other Comments: Excellent street tree in northern climates

Available From: Nurseries that carry the latest cultivars, may need a plant search


* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html


These are the personal observations of the author, living in New England – Zone 5b. Len Phillips can be reached via e-mail at lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com

About The Staff