Here’s How Quickly a Red Maple Tree Grows to Full Size

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Here’s How Quickly a Red Maple Tree Grows to Full Size

Red maples are popular choices for landscapes across the country because they’re easy-to-grow shade trees. After bringing home a red maple tree sapling to plant in your yard, it might seem like it’ll take forever for the skinny-looking stick to become a towering shade tree. The good news is that it may take less time than you would think. So, how fast do red maples grow? In general, maples grow fairly quickly, but it’ll still take your new red maple tree several years to reach its full size. However, your young red maple will provide plenty of beautiful color and cooling shade throughout these years as it matures.

red maple tree growing outdoors

How Fast Do Red Maples Grow?

Some trees are slow growers (20-30 years to reach full size) and other types of trees grow fast (10-15 years). The good news is that red maples grow at a relatively fast speed; in the tree world, this equals about 12-18 inches of height a year. However, you’ll have to be patient for it to become a full-size tree because it can take about 25 years before this type of maple tree stops adding more height. In the end, you’ll have a substantial shade tree; the mature height for red maples is anywhere from 40 to 60 feet tall and 35 to 45 feet wide.

As you’re waiting for your red maple tree to grow to its full height, you can still expect it to add beauty to your yard even before it reaches maturity. Every year of growth will add more and more red color to your garden and the tree will put on a show for you in the fall (with red leaves, of course). But the reason it got its name is because the tree starts to take on a scarlet tinge in late winter as its red flower buds (yes, maples have flowers) develop, followed by red stems for the leaves.

Those maple flowers turn into those propeller “spinners” that twirl down to the ground in the spring. Called samaras, the spinners carry the red maple seeds, which you can try growing new trees from for an easy garden project. Actually, Mother Nature will want to grow those samaras too, so be sure to rake them up before they sprout in places you’d rather not have a tree seedling popping up.

How to Grow Red Maple Trees

Maple trees, like fruit trees, engage in alternate bearing (which is a tendency to create an abundance of seeds one year and only a few the next); so, watch for bumper crop years to get the most viable seeds. Maple seeds may require stratification prior to sowing, but they can be sown in containers or directly into the ground.

Remember that red maples have wide, shallow roots that will heave up your sidewalk if you give them a chance. Choose a planting site well back from the street (at least six feet), and you’ll both be happier. Then, keep your new tree well-watered during its first season to help it grow strong roots in its new location.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I get a red maple sapling or seeds?

    Red maple saplings can be purchased at most nurseries or home improvement stores. You can also purchase seeds from nurseries and online shops—or wait for the red maple trees around you to drop their seeds (in late spring or early fall) and collect the seeds to grow a new tree.

  • Do deer eat red maples?

    Deer love to snack on the tender shoots and leaves of red maple trees—especially after fall temperatures and trapped sugars in the leaves begin to break down the green pigments from chlorophyll and produce the anthocyanin pigments we know as fall colors.

  • What’s the best maple tree for fall color?

    When it comes to fall colors, maple trees offer some of the most vibrant colors—but some types are more reliably brilliant than others. For the ultimate show of fall color, look for red maples, Japanese, sugar, autumn blaze, Norway, amur, and striped maple trees.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.