Bowhall Red Maple – Acer rubrum ‘Bowhall’
Red maple seeds are popular with squirrels and birds. This tree is often confused with red-leaved cultivars of Norway Maple. Fall color is not reliable but ranges in any given year from red to orange to yellow. It can be spectacular in some years.
Bowhall Red grows best on moist sites in full sun. It has no other particular soil preference except chlorosis may develop on alkaline soil where it also grows poorly. It is well-suited as a street tree in northern and mid-south climates in residential and other suburban areas but the bark is thin and easily damaged by mowers. Irrigation is often needed to support street tree plantings in well-drained soil in the south.
Red Maple is easily transplanted and usually develops surface roots in soil ranging from well-drained sand to clay. It is not especially drought-tolerant, particularly in the southern part of the range, but selected individual trees can be found growing on dry sites. This trait shows the wide range of genetic diversity in the species. Branches often grow upright through the crown forming poor attachments to the trunk. These should be removed in the nursery or after planting in the landscape to help prevent branch failure in older trees during storms.