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Rounded Red Maple Trees
I consider my best fall foliage pictures to be of maple trees, because the maples are king of the hill when it comes to autumn's bonanza. Use these images to aid you in selecting the optimal landscape specimens for the harvest months. Browsing photos can facilitate tree selection for your own landscape. Don't forget, though, that there are other sources of autumn color, besides trees. Fall color can also be offered by shrubs, vines and other plants. And you can supplement your perennial... display with annual fall flowers, just to spice things up.
Red maple trees in the wild display a variety of forms. In the example shown in the photo here, the form is rather rounded.
Growers have spun a number of landscape trees off the wild red maples. These spinoffs are known as "cultivars." For landscaping purposes, one advantage a cultivar has over the wild equivalent is predictability. That is, if you want a red maple tree with a rounded form, it's best to purchase a cultivar known to display that shape.
An example of a cultivar with a rounded form is the "October Glory" red maple tree (Acer rubrum 'October Glory'). Bearing dark green foliage in summer, October Glory red maple trees put out red blooms in spring prior to forming any leaves.Continue to 2 of 14 below.
02 of 14
Oval Red Maple Trees
The prior photo showed a red maple tree with a rounded canopy....
Here, you see an example of a red maple tree in the wild with an oval canopy. The equivalent specimens for landscape use providing this shape are the "Autumn Blaze" red maple trees. The Latin name for the Autumn Blaze cultivar is variously given as Acer freemanii 'Autumn Blaze' or Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred' (the latter is technically more accurate). This fall foliage standout is a fast grower, reportedly... tacking on as much as 3 feet per year.Continue to 3 of 14 below.
03 of 14
Are Red Maple Trees Always Red?
Are red maples always red in the wild? No, which is why cultivars such as "Red Sunset" maple trees are a better choice for those seeking crimson in the yard.
The fall foliage of red maple trees (Acer rubrum spp.) unfortunately sometimes makes a liar out of the trees' name. Witness the tree in this photo, the fall color of which is primarily yellow. That's why it's best to stick with cultivars known for their fall color consistency. If you want red fall foliage, I would suggest... purchasing Acer rubrum 'Red Sunset,' a tree that will reach about 50' in height, with a spread of a little less than that.Continue to 4 of 14 below.
04 of 14
Fall Foliage Pictures -- Maple Leaf Picture
Maple leaf pictures will reveal fall foliage with significant variation....
This maple leaf picture is from a red maple tree. Red and yellow is one of my favorite color combinations, a mix often exhibited in the fall foliage of red maples. This and other maple leaf pictures in the present photo gallery demonstrate the range of the fall color display put on by the maples.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
05 of 14
Color Combinations of Maple Tree Leaves
We just saw how maple tree leaves can exhibit both red and yellow at once. The present photo shows green, yellow and red maple tree leaves on the same tree....
Red maples, as we've seen in this photo gallery, exhibit variation in how they morph into their fall colors. In some cases, the maple tree leaves will change simply from green to red. Others will change to predominantly yellow or -- my personal favorite -- a combination of red and yellow. In this photo, you can see how a given tree may... have maple tree leaves in red, green, yellow or some combination thereof -- all at once!Continue to 6 of 14 below.
06 of 14
Source of Maple Syrup
What's in a name? When it comes to one type of maple tree, the "sweetness" in its name speaks volumes about what it produces: maple syrup.
Maple syrup comes from sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum). Much of the northeastern North America is famous for the production of maple syrup. The same region is also famous for its fall foliage, since its sugar maple trees are as pleasing to leaf peepers as they are to those of us with a craving for pancakes drenched in maple syrup! The photo here shows a... sugar maple displaying vibrant yellow autumn garb.
Speaking of "sweet," it's not only the common name of this tree that gives it away as the source for maple syrup: the saccharum part of its Latin name indicates "sugar" and will be familiar to those who have used the articial sweetener, Saccharin.Continue to 7 of 14 below.
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Fall Foliage Pictures -- Orange Sugar Maple Trees
The prior fall foliage photo showed a yellow sugar maple tree....
The present fall foliage photo provides an example of how sugar maple trees can turn a bright orange color in autumn.Continue to 8 of 14 below.
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Reddish Orange Sugar Maples
In the prior autumn foliage photo, we saw how the leaves of sugar maples can morph into a bright orange in fall....
This autumn foliage photo illustrates how the sugar maples can turn a deeper, reddish-orange in fall, too.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
09 of 14
Fall Foliage Pictures -- Sugar Maple Leaves
Here's a closeup fall foliage picture of those reddish-orange sugar maple leaves people ooh and ah over....
They're such a deep orange that they're almost red. In my next fall foliage pic, I present a closeup image of an individual sugar maple leaf....Continue to 10 of 14 below.
10 of 14
Fall Foliage Pictures: Maple Leaves
Here's an image of a fall foliage classic (practically a "poster child" for autumn, really), close up....
Photos of maple leaves close up, such as this one, reveal the shape so intimately associated with Canada's national flag.Continue to 11 of 14 below.
11 of 14
Norway Maple Trees
An example of a leaf from the Norway maple trees is shown here....
The yellow fall foliage of Norway maple trees arrives a bit later than does the autumn color of the red maples and sugar maples.Continue to 12 of 14 below.
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Norway Maple's Canopy
Norway maples are large trees, reaching an approximate size of 50 feet x 50 feet....
An invasive plant species, Norway maple trees are widespread in North America.
Amur maple trees (Acer ginnala 'Flame') would be a good alternative for small spaces, if they, too, weren't invasive. Attaining a maximum size of only about 20 feet x 20 feet, Amur maple trees achieve their best fall color if grown in full sun. Their fall foliage color is a brilliant red.
Another alternative for landscaping in small... spaces is Acer campestre, the hedge maple trees. Growing 10-30 feet tall, hedge maple trees live up to their name in Europe, where they are planted as hedges and pruned back, promoting dense foliage that serves as a privacy screen. As of 2008, hedge maples were listed as invasive in only one state in the U.S.: Ohio.
But as the next fall foliage image will show, there's more than one kind of Norway maple tree (Acer platanoides)....Continue to 13 of 14 below.
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Fall Foliage Pictures -- Crimson King Norway Maple Trees
"Crimson King" Norway maple trees have a different foliage from the Acer platanoides we've seen in the prior pictures....
Although, from what I've been able to gather, they're just as invasive. Reaching 35 to 45 feet tall with a spread of about 25 to 30 feet, Crimson King Norway maple trees bear a purplish-green foliage in summer -- sort of a "fall foliage" prior to the fall, if you will. If anything, that color may deepen to a maroon in autumn, before the leaves turn brown and... drop off the tree.
Don't confuse this specimen with Crimson Queen Japanese maple trees.Continue to 14 of 14 below.
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Fall Foliage Pictures -- Japanese Maples
Not all fall foliage standouts follow the pattern of bearing green leaves in summer that morph into brilliant colors in autumn....
I already mentioned the example of Crimson King Norway maple trees; their leaves are an interesting purplish-green in summer -- a color that only deepens when autumn arrives. Red Japanese maples (Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum') follow a similar pattern. They display red-colored leaves all summer that only intensify in autumn, becoming a brighter red.