Red Maple Flowers

This maple tree is one of the first plants to flower in spring.

Pam and I ambled around the Arboretum for our Easter 2023 outing.

Click Me for “Finger Lakes Memories” my online gallery.

All photography using the IPhone 14 ProMax triple camera, raw format, edited on the phone.

Acer rubrum is one of the most abundant and widespread trees in eastern North America. It can be found from the south of Newfoundland, through Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and southern Quebec to the southwest west of Ontario, extreme southeastern Manitoba and northern Minnesota; southward through Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas in its western range; and east to Florida. It has the largest continuous range along the North American Atlantic Coast of any tree that occurs in Florida. In total it ranges 2,600 km (1,600 mi) from north to south. The species is native to all regions of the United States east of the 95th meridian. The tree’s range ends where the −40 °C (−40 °F) mean minimum isotherm begins, namely in southeastern Canada. A. rubrum is not present in most of the Prairie Peninsula of the northern Midwest (although it is found in Ohio), the coastal prairie in southern Louisiana and southeastern Texas and the swamp prairie of the Florida Everglades. Red maple’s western range stops with the Great Plains where conditions become too dry for it. The absence of red maple from the Prairie Peninsula is most likely due to the tree’s poor tolerance of wildfires. Red maple is most abundant in the Northeastern US, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and northeastern Wisconsin, and is rare in the extreme west of its range and in the Southeastern US.

On the arboretum northeast side is a collection of native maples, this Red Maple is represented caught our eye.

These metal tags are excellent signposts hanging from the branches on coated wire. Red maple’s maximum lifespan is 150 years, but most live less than 100 years. The tree’s thin bark is easily damaged from ice and storms, animals, and when used in landscaping, being struck by flying debris from lawn mowers, allowing fungi to penetrate and cause heart rot.[8] Its ability to thrive in many habitats is largely due to its ability to produce roots to suit its site from a young age. In wet locations, red maple seedlings produce short taproots with long, well-developed lateral roots; while on dry sites, they develop long taproots with significantly shorter laterals. The roots are primarily horizontal, however, forming in the upper 25 cm (9.8 in) of the ground. Mature trees have woody roots up to 25 m (82 ft) long. They are very tolerant of flooding, with one study showing that 60 days of flooding caused no leaf damage. At the same time, they are tolerant of drought due to their ability to stop growing under dry conditions by then producing a second-growth flush when conditions later improve, even if growth has stopped for 2 weeks.

Acer rubrum is one of the first plants to flower in spring. A crop of seeds is generally produced every year with a bumper crop often occurring every second year. A single tree between 5 and 20 cm (2.0 and 7.9 in) in diameter can produce between 12,000 and 91,000 seeds in a season. A tree 30 cm (0.98 ft) in diameter was shown to produce nearly a million seeds. Red maple produces one of the smallest seeds of any of the maples. Fertilization has also been shown to significantly increase the seed yield for up to two years after application. The flowers are generally unisexual, with male and female flowers appearing in separate sessile clusters, though they are sometimes also bisexual. These pistillate (female) flowers have one pistil formed from two fused carpels with a glabrous superior ovary and two long styles that protrude beyond the perianth. These flowers were formed on the tree labeled “Frank’s Red.”

These staminate (male) flowers are sessile (grow direct from tip of branch without a stalk) containing between 4 and 12 stamens, often with 8. These seem to have 12 stamens.

The above flowers were formed on a “Schlesinger I” Red Maple Tree (see following lable).

Reference: “Red Maple” Wikipedia
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