Saturday, January 28, 2012

Red maple

Acer rubrum (red maple) is a wonderful native tree in the Southeastern US (and the Northeast, too). Check out its range.

There are numerous cultivars, selected primarily for their fall leaf color.  But equally interesting, although maybe not so remarkable, is the lovely winter color of recent growth.  It can be reddish (that's what caught my eye), but also more towards yellow, too.

What are those reddish young trees along the edge of the highway, I asked my gardening companion?  Maples, maybe, I thought?  And, happily, he's done his research (see the book link on the sidebar), so he knew new growth on red maples was reddish in color, so my idea was confirmed.  And as I look around where red maples have been planted, it's clear that new growth is definitely colorful!

And we're already seeing flowers of red maple on the ground both at home in the Piedmont and in the mountains.  They're always among the first flowering trees in our native flora, and maybe a bit ahead this year, with a mild winter.

red maple flowers (from cas.vanderbilt.edu): click on image for link

3 comments:

  1. Lisa,
    These trees are making the honey bees very happy right now. They are supposed to start around the first of February, many have been blooming for nearly a month.

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  2. Randy, I hadn't realized that red maples produced much nectar. Interesting!

    And Janet, we're clearly early this year, too.

    Lisa

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