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Acer rubrum 'Sun Valley'

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Kemper Code:  C582

Common Name: red maple
Zone: 4 to 7
Plant Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 20 to 35 feet
Spread: 15 to 25 feet
Bloom Time: March   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic soils with good drainage.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Acer rubrum is a deciduous, Missouri native tree that will typically grow 40-60’ tall with a rounded to oval crown. It grows faster than Norway and sugar maples, but slower than silver maple. In northern states, red maple usually occurs in wet bottomland, river flood plains and wet woods, but in Missouri it typically frequents drier, rocky upland areas. Sap of this tree can be used to make maple syrup that is inferior in quality to syrups made from the sugar maple. ‘Sun Valley’ is a U. S. National Arboretum introduction. It is a male selection that is noted for having a symmetrical ovate crown and exceptional red fall color. It typically grows to 21’ tall over the first 10 years, eventually maturing to as much as 30-35’ tall in ideal growing conditions. It is the result of a cross between A. rubrum ‘Red Sunset’ and A. rubrum ‘Autumn Flame’. Reddish male flowers appear in early spring. No fruit is produced. Medium green leaves (to 4” long). Fall color for this cultivar appears as a brilliant red in late fall.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems. Although leafhoppers can cause substantial damage to foliage in red maples, ‘Sun Valley’ reportedly has good resistance to this pest. Watch for aphids, borers and scale. Verticillium wilt attacks the vascular system and can be fatal. Canker, fungal leaf spot and root rots may also occur. Wind and ice may break some branches.


Specimen tree for the lawn, street or park. Good shade tree for residential areas.

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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