Red maple tree appearance wood uses and lumber
Red maple trees are common throughout North America and Canada. They color forests from Quebec to Texas with beautiful striking red colors in autumn. The scientific name of the red maple tree is acer rubrum and is part of the aceraceae family. It is one of the first trees in early spring that blossoms before it gets leaves. This maple species is valued for its beauty and often planted as garden and city tree. Red maple wood is moderate hard and its lumber is more valued then that of European maple trees.
Red maple tree, leaf and fruit description
Red maple trees can grow to heights up to 82 feet or 25 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.
Red maple leaves are arranged opposite with three to five sharply toothed lobes each. During spring and summer the leaves are dark green colored on the sun side and paler green on the other side.
In autumn the leaves change color ranging from bright yellow to intense dark red. Red maple leaves can reach lengths up to 5 inches or 13 cm and.
Like other maple species this tree also has wing shaped fruits. They hang in clusters beneath the maple leaves and reach lengths up to 1 inch or 2.5 cm.
Red maple tree bark and trunk
Young red maple trees have smooth grey bark. When the tree gets older the bark is flanking into plates and darkens. The trunk of the maple tree is moderate long with many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 35 inches or 0.9 meter.
Red maple wood properties and durability
Fresh red maple heartwood is creamy white yellow colored that darkens to creamy beige in time. The sapwood is slightly paler colored but there isn't much color difference between the heartwood and the sapwood of the tree. Red maple wood is known for its nice colorations, straight close grain and fine texture, moderate hard, heavy, strength and moderate bending properties. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 625 kg per cubic meter. The durability of red maple wood is classed as V low durability.
Red maple wood working tips and uses
Red maple wood is more popular among carpenters then European maple or European sycamore. The lumber is moderate hard and nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine.
Pre drilling is advised when screws or nails are used but watch out because the lumber can burn easy. It is recommended to let the wood acclimatize to the environment before handling it.
Maple wood is used in a wide range of products like
- turned articles
- indoor furniture
- kitchen utensils
- music instruments
- and more.