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Red Sunset MapleAcer rubrum 'Franksred'

  • Red Sunset Maple - Acer rubrum
  • Red Sunset Maple - Acer rubrum
  • Red Sunset Maple - Acer rubrum
  • Red Sunset Maple - Acer rubrum

Known as one of the best red maple cultivars, this tree delivers on color. Winter buds, clusters of small winter/spring flowers, leaf stems, twigs and winged summer fruits all carry a red hue. And of course, the fall show is breathtaking, with red and orange leaves blending to give a sunset effect.

The lovely red coloring, a good branch structure and a faster growth rate make the red sunset maple a welcome enhancement to any yard or public space.

Hardiness Zones

The red sunset maple can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is a shade tree, featuring a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight.

Mature Size

The red sunset maple grows to a height of 45–50' and a spread of 35–40' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium to Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13" to more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The red sunset maple grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, wet and clay soils.


This tree:
  • Provides superior fall color, with leaves turning vibrant shades of orange and red.
  • Is often the first to color up in the autumn.
  • Produces red clusters of small flowers winter to spring.
  • Features simple, medium to dark green leaves 2–6" in length with 3 or 5 lobes and sinuses that are irregularly toothed.
  • Yields winged summer fruit that is reddish in color.
  • Develops a good branch structure.
  • Has strong wood.
  • Grows in a pyramidal to rounded shape.
  • Is salt-sensitive.

Wildlife Value

The fruit is popular with squirrels and birds.


This cultivar was introduced in 1966 by J. Frank Schmidt and Son in Boring, OR.