USA Official State Tree of Rhode Island

Red MapleTree, a state symbol

(Aceraceae Acer rubrum)
Adopted in 1964.

 

The Red Maple, Aceraceae Acer rubrum, was adopted as the state tree in 1964. 

 

Red maple is also known as scarlet maple, swamp maple, soft maple, Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, and water maple.

 

 

Many foresters consider the tree inferior and undesirable because it is often poorly formed and defective, especially on poor sites. On good sites, however, it may grow fast with good form and quality for saw logs. Red maple is a subclimax species that can occupy overstory space but is usually replaced by other species. It is classed as shade tolerant and as a prolific sprouter. It has great ecological amplitude from sea level to about 900 m (3,000 ft) and grows over a wide range of microhabitat sites. It ranks high as a shade tree for landscapes.

Description:
  • Leaf: Opposite, 3 to 5 palmate lobes with serrate margins, sinuses relatively shallow (but variable), 2 to 4 inches long; light green above, whitened and sometimes glaucous or hairy beneath.
  • Flower: Appear March to May, usually before leaves; usually bright red but occasionally yellow.
  • Fruit: Clusters of 1/2 to 3/4 inch long fruit with slighly divergent wings, appear May to June, on long slender stems. Light brown and often reddish.
  • Twig: Reddish and lustrous with small lenticels, buds usually blunt, green or reddish (fall and winter) with several scales usually present, leaf scars V-shaped, 3 bundle scars, lateral buds slightly stalked, may be collateral buds present.
  • Bark: On young trees, smooth and light gray, with age becomes darker and breaks up into long scaly plates.
  • Form: Medium-sized tree. In forest, trunk usually clear for some distance, in the open the trunk is shorter and the crown rounded.

 

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae –
Order Sapindales –
Family Aceraceae – Maple family
Genus Acer L. – maple
Species Acer rubrum L. – red maple

 

Source:
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture