Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’ (RED SUNSET®) – Red Sunset® Maple
Botanical Name: Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’ (RED SUNSET®)
Alternate Name: Red Sunset® Red Maple
The Red Sunset® Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’) is one of the best trees to plant in a landscape for early, eye-catching fall color. This deciduous tree starts off growing in a pyramidal shape as a juvenile and eventually develops a beautifully rounded form as it matures. It grows to a height of 40-50 feet with a spread of 30-40 feet, making it a perfect choice for medium and large sized landscapes.
Red Sunset® Maple provides a variety of red colors throughout the spring, summer, and fall. This tree has small clusters of red flowers that cover the branches in early spring. The flowers are followed by red winged samaras in the summer.
The leaves grow in and fill the canopy in spring as the blooms are fading. The first flush of red leaves matures to an attractive, shiny mid-green. The leaves are 2-6 inches in size with 3-5 lobes. In early fall, as the first cold weather arrives, the leaves change to yellow, followed by burnt orange. They finish the season with a fantastic fall show of deep, vibrant red.
The Red Sunset® Maple is tolerant of many different soil types. If it is well-drained, it prefers wet to dry soils. This tree thrives with an acidic pH. Incorporating rich compost into the planting site will help to achieve the preferred pH, as will planting near conifers.
Red Sunset® Maple is a very cold hardy variety. It is sensitive to salt so not recommended for planting sites next to roads or driveways where there is snowfall.