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ACER RUBRUM RED SUNSET - Red Maple
Acer rubrum Red Sunset is one of the best medium-sized maples for autumn colour, as the name suggests offering up a vibrant display of crimson foliage. It quickly reaches about 12m (40ft) in height and a spread of 9m (30ft), with a rounded or pyramidal crown, which is nicely symmetrical if given an open position with plenty of light.
In spring, clusters of tiny red flowers adorn the bare branches, adding early seasonal interest. These are followed by pink-tinged seedpods, similar to those of other maples like sycamore. Unlike sycamore, however, red maples will not scatter dozens of them around the garden.
New growth and young leaves are also tinged red. The leaves are a lustrous green throughout summer.
Where to grow
While it prefers rich well drained soils it is tolerant of almost all soil types. It will cope with partial shade but performs better in full sun. As it is not a small tree it is better to give it some space. It can be brittle in high winds. Red Sunset is somewhat hardier than October Glory.
Did you know?
Red maple (Acer rubrum) originates in North America but has been grown in the UK since the 1600s. Red maples are sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes both (meaning the flowers on a tree are all male or all female, or hermaphrodite), and can even switch from being one sex to another.
Red Sunset is a female variety developed by J. Frank Schmidt, Jr in Oregon, originally called ‘Franksred’. Highly rated and reliable in the USA, it was rebranded as ‘Red Sunset’ and has become in America the standard to which other red maple cultivars are compared for autumn colour.
- Medium - 10-15 metres
- 5-10 metres
Shape / Habit
- Round Headed
- All soil types
- Full sun
- Partial shade
Difficulty / Hard to Grow
Evergreen / Deciduous
- Large Leaves
- Garden Tree
- City/Urban Sites
For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.
The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water. It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree. In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.
One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass. When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree. It is vital that for at least 3 years after planting your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one metre wide completely free of grass.
- Mulch mats are an effective way to stop grass and weeds, although they will require a careful eye to make sure they continue to work. After clearing the ground around the tree, firmly fit the mat by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this. Be careful not to allow the woodchip to touch the stem as it can cause rot.
- Weed killer is very effective, however it is harmful to the environment. Organic weed killers usually do not kill roots. Weed killer needs to be applied each year for the first 3 years, preferably when the tree is dormant, or just once before applying a mulch mat.
- Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem. Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.
If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree. Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm. The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots. Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.
Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.
- 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
- 100/125, 125/150 1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
- 150/175 1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.
Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping. These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens. Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.
Protection from Animal Damage
Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees. Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge. Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.
Are the delivery costs the same no matter how many plants I order?
Yes the delivery costs are the same no matter how many plants you have on your order. They are worked out based on your distance from our nursery and can be found here.