Risk Tool

Red Maple Acer rubrum

Also know as: scarlet maple, soft maple, swamp maple, water maple, Carolina red maple, Drummond’s red maple, rot-ahorn

Acer rubrum Acer rubrum timber

A. rubrum is known as red maple for its red buds, flowers, and fruits. It is very adaptable and can be found growing in a wide variety of soil and site conditions, including swamps, deciduous forests, and savannas. It is one of the most abundant tree species in eastern North America, and is most common in New England, the Middle Atlantic states, upper Michigan, and northeast Wisconsin.

In the lumber industry, red maple is known as soft maple. Higher-quality grades of the timber may be used as a substitute for “hard maple,” which comes from Acer nigrum and Acer saccharum, especially in furniture. The sap of the tree can also be used to make maple syrup, an important non-timber forest product, although most commercially available maple syrup comes from the sap of the hard maple species.

A. rubrum usually grows to between 20 and 30 m high and rarely lives beyond about 150 years. It is susceptible to various defects and diseases of trees, especially on less than ideal growing sites, so it is not widely used in silviculture. Because of its colorful fall foliage, it is an important ornamental tree, and it is also very important as a food source for wildlife.

Red maple wood is used for sawtimber, pulpwood, furniture, veneer, plywood, flooring, and other wood products.

Species Details

CITIES Status: Not Listed
Endangered Status: Not Evaluated
Associated Risks:

Acer rubrum is not CITES listed and at time of research, is not subject to international or national trade bans or restrictions.

Major Buyer:

Wood from A. rubrum is consumed domestically in Canada and the United States and exported to the EU and China.

Countries Where Found

Naturally Occurring