Common names (selected) English: Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, red maple, scarlet maple, soft maple, swamp maple, water maple, white maple; German: Rotahorn; Italian: acero rosso
Description: Deciduous tree
Native regions and distribution: Native to eastern and central North America and Canada, but found through the U.S. due to its wide-spread cultivation.
Urban habitat: Commonly found on degraded and disturbed sites and can thrive in swamps as well as in dry and low pH soils.
Ecological function: Food and habitat for squirrels, birds, deer, moose, elk, and insects. Also provides erosion control.
History/human uses: Acer rubrum is one of the most abundant trees in the forests of the eastern North America. Its presence has been documented to have increased since European arrival in North American and its ongoing spread is said to be changing the nature of eastern forests by reducing the number of oaks and pines. It is a common urban tree, planted as a shade tree and for its attractive brilliant red fall color. Native American tribes, including the Abnaki, Cherokee, Iroquois, Ojibwa, and Seminole, found many uses for the tree, as food, fuel, medicine, and for making baskets, furniture, tools, and in beadwork. The Algonquin tribes in Quebec used its sap to make a syrup and sugar, and today it is sometimes used for production of maple syrup. The boiled inner bark can be used to produce a blue-black dye or ink.