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Red Maple street trees are beloved all over the United States for their lush, green foliage, ease of care and bright autumn displays of color. Drought-tolerant and disease-resistant, red maples make maintenance a breeze. They are an easy choice for any landscape design requiring street trees. But how do you choose the best fall color? Keep reading to learn about several varieties that put on a show, each in their own way.

Acer rubrum “Bowhall”

Height: 50 feet
Spread: 15 feet

The Bowhall Red Maple boasts bright orange and red fall foliage, making it a stand-out among deciduous trees. Its furrowed, silvery bark and deep red branches only enhance the interest of this maple. Bowhall is a narrow, upright tree with a low canopy (typical clearance is around 5’) that looks great when planted alongside coarser trees and shrubs.

Acer rubrum “October Glory”

Height: 50 feet
Spread: 40 feet

October Glory Red Maple has dark, lustrous green foliage which turns to a brilliant scarlet red in the fall. This is one of the last of the Red Maples to turn colors, making it an excellent choice to pair with earlier-turning varieties. Once the leaves do transform from green into vibrant oranges and reds, the autumn show will last for several weeks. This beautiful late-autumn spectacle makes October Glory a favorite among Red Maples.

Acer rubrum “Autumn Blaze”

Height: 60 feet
Width: 40 feet

Autumn Blaze lives up to its name, year after year, with larger leaves that turn from deep green to vibrant crimsons and oranges. This tree is quite tolerant of adverse conditions, more so than other red maples, making it a good choice for trickier locations such as hills. It has a particularly rapid growth pattern and a lovely oval crown when fully mature. With consistently beautiful fall foliage and brick-red branches, Autumn Blaze offers interest and intrigue every year.

Acer rubrum “Red Sunset”

Height: 50 feet
Spread: 40 feet

Red Sunset is a popular red maple with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its popularity is well-deserved as even a casual observer will plainly see each autumn. When the weather begins to cool, Red Sunset’s leaves slowly change from their classic green to all shades of fire, causing the tree to appear aflame. All shades between orange and red give this tree great interest and beauty every autumn!

Acer x freemanii “Armstrong”

Height: 50 feet
Spread: 20 feet

Armstrong offers a different kind of appeal. A hybrid of red and silver maples, its lobed leaves are much more deeply cut than its fellow red maples, making the leaves appear star-shaped! The fall color is bright and cheery but not quite as flamboyant as more true maples. However, Armstrong has strength in its narrow spread, making it a good tree for tight places such as close to buildings or planted on the strip between the street and the sidewalk.

Acer “Pacific Sunset” Acer truncatum x Acer platenoides “Warrenred”

Height: 30 feet
Spread: 25 feet

Pacific Sunset is a bit of an early bird compared to other red maples, turning its leaves when the weather first begins to cool. The glossy green foliage makes way for autumn color that ranges from a yellow-orange to bright ruby. However, if planted in shade, this tree will give yellow, almost translucent fall foliage. Pair Pacific Sunset with more later-turning varieties, like October Glory, for a continuous flow of color all season long!

Photos thanks to Northscaping.com and WA State University PNW Plant Database