Red Sunset Maple Tree: A Gorgeous North American Native

'Red Sunset' Maple

The Red Sunset maple tree is a North American native that has been cultivated and marketed under the name “Franksred.”

This type of maple is known for its age-related gradual darkening of its smooth, gray bark, as well as the strength and consistency of its autumn leaves color (which turns a gorgeous red).

 Common Name ‘Red Sunset’ maple
 Botanical Name Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’
Family Sapindaceae
 Plant Type Deciduous tree
 Mature Size 40-50 ft. tall, 30-40 ft. wide
 Sun Exposure Full, partial
 Soil Type Rich, moist but well-drained
 Soil pH Acidic to slightly acidic (4.5 to 6.5)
 Bloom Time Spring
 Flower Color Red on the female, yellow on the male (not showy)
 Hardiness Zones 3-9 (USDA)
 Native Area Nursery cultivar; Acer rubrum is native to North America

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • The Red Sunset maple tree is a reliable, low-maintenance cultivar that is easy to grow and care for.
  • Here are a few tips to keep your plant healthy:-Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
  • Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer in early spring.-Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
  • Mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Red Sunset maple trees are generally disease and pest resistant, but can be susceptible to aphids, scale, and verticillium wilt.

Lighting and Temperature

Red Sunset maple trees prefer full sun to partial shade, but can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions.

They are also quite tolerant of heat and cold, making them a good choice for gardens in a variety of climates.

If you live in an area with very hot summers, it’s best to plant your tree in a spot that gets some afternoon shade.

Red Sunset maple trees are popular for their beautiful fall foliage, which ranges in color from orange to deep red.

They also make excellent shade trees and can be used as a specimen tree or planted in groups.


Red Sunset maple trees prefer rich, moist, but well-drained soil.

If your soil is on the heavy side, you can improve drainage by planting in a raised bed or mound.

It’s also important to make sure your tree has plenty of room to grow, as roots can be quite destructive.


Fertilize your Red Sunset maple tree in early spring with an all-purpose fertilizer.

You can also apply a layer of compost around the base of the tree each year to help provide nutrients.


Prune your Red Sunset maple tree in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches, as well as any crossing or rubbing branches.

It’s also a good idea to thin out the canopy to allow more light and air circulation.


Water your Red Sunset maple tree regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.

Once established, this tree is quite drought tolerant.

During periods of extended drought, you may need to water more frequently to keep the leaves from wilting.


Red Sunset maple trees can grow to a height of 40-50 feet and a width of 30-40 feet.

They have a moderate growth rate and will reach their full size in about 20 years.


The flowers of the Red Sunset maple tree are not particularly showy.

Females are red, while males are yellow.

The flowers appear in early spring and are followed by small, winged fruits known as samaras.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

The ‘Red Sunset’ maple is a standout tree with its beautiful red leaves, but it is susceptible to various pests and diseases. Leafhoppers, scale, caterpillars, aphids, and borers are the most harmful pests to the ‘Red Sunset’ maple.

Neem oil can be used to get rid of the insects. Unfortunately, the diseases can best be treated through preventative methods because they aren’t always as simple to treat (after the fact).

A good irrigation plan, placement choosing spacing, and enabling ventilation are a few protective measures. The ‘Red Sunset’ maple is also frequently afflicted by verticillium-wilt, root rot, and fungus leaf spots, including anthracnose.

While these diseases can be difficult to treat, preventive measures can go a long way in protecting the ‘Red Sunset’ maple from them.

Propagating ‘Red Sunset’ Maple

Cultivating new plants from root cuttings is a difficult process that is rarely attempted by beginners. However, it is possible to grow a tree from seed. Keep in mind that the final product may not exactly resemble the tree that was planted initially.

This is because cross-pollination may produce seeds that grow into trees with different characteristics.

Additionally, there may be other maples in your neighborhood (native species or cultivars with names) that could pollinate your tree and produce offspring with different traits.

If you are looking for a specific cultivar, like “Red Sunset,” it is best to buy a tree that has already been propagated from a reputable source.

This ensures that you will get a clone of the original tree, which was carefully chosen for its desirable characteristics.

Types of Red Maple

While the native red maple, Acer rubrum, is undoubtedly a beautiful tree, cultivars offer a greater level of consistency when it comes to fall foliage.

For example, the “Red Sunset” cultivar is identical to “October Glory”, but progresses a little faster. Meanwhile, “Autumn Blaze” is known for its gorgeous, persistent orange-red leaves and gracefully rounded shape.

The tiny “Burgundy Bell” tree boasts extremely dark red-purple fall leaves, while “Scarlet Sentinel” is a columnar variety with quick growth and yellow-orange fall leaves.

Finally, “Schlesingeri” is one of the fastest-growing types, with deep-red autumn leaves that cling to the tree’s top for an extended period of time.

In terms of fall foliage, cultivars of red maple provide a more reliable display of color than their native counterparts.

How far from a fence should you plant a maple tree?

Maple trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape. However, if they are not planted properly, they can cause problems later on. For example, if a maple tree is planted too close to a fence, the roots can damage the fence or the underground wiring.

In addition, the tree can drop leaves or branches onto walkways, driveways, or electrical transformers. Therefore, it is important to plant maple trees at least six feet away from fences and underground wiring and at least eight feet away from walkways, driveways, and electrical transformers.

Additionally, maple trees should be planted at least 15 feet away from structures or septic systems and at least 30 feet away from overhead electric power lines.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your maple tree will be a beautiful and healthy addition to your landscape for many years to come.

How fast does a sunset maple tree grow?

The sunset maple is a beautiful and fast-growing tree that is perfect for any landscape.

This tree grows at a moderate to rapid speed, with increments that range from 13 to more than 24 each year. The sunset maple is a deciduous tree, meaning that it will lose its leaves in the fall, but it more than makes up for this with its gorgeous autumn color.

The leaves of the sunset maple turn a brilliant red, orange, and yellow before they fall, making it a stunning addition to any yard. In addition to its beauty, the sunset maple is also very versatile, and can be used as a shade tree or an ornamental tree.

Whether you are looking for color or function, the sunset maple is an excellent choice.

How far should maple tree be planted from house?

When planting a maple tree, it is important to take into account the size of the tree and the roots. Most trees should be planted at least 30 feet away from your home to prevent roots from encroaching on the space.

Silver maples should be planted 100 feet away from septic tanks and leach fields to prevent root damage. It is also important to consider the mature height of the tree when deciding how far to plant it from your house.

A taller tree will need more space than a shorter tree. Ultimately, it is important to consult with a professional before planting any tree near your home.

How far do maple tree roots go?

The roots of a Maple tree are quite sophisticated in their own way. Most of the Maple trees have roots that are as long as 12 to 18 inches below the surface of the soil and extending in a range of up to 25 feet.

The more the tree expands in size it is possible that these roots emerge out of the soil. The taproot of this tree is quite strong and is growing vertically downwards.

It could be one foot or more in length. There are lateral roots that branch out from the main taproot and these grow horizontally.

There are also tiny root hairs that help the tree to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. All these different kinds of roots play an important role in the overall health and growth of the Maple tree.

How do you take care of a red sunset maple tree?

The Red Sunset Maple is a unique and beautiful addition to any garden, but like all plants, it requires some care to stay healthy and thrive. One of the most important things to remember is to water frequently.

The Red Sunset Maple is tolerant of wet conditions and standing water, so you don’t need to worry about overwatering. However, the soil should be kept moist, not soggy.

Another important task is fertilizing. Apply fertilizer in the spring when the tree is first planted, and then once again early in the growing season. Look for an organic fertilizer that has a low release rate to avoid harming the delicate roots of your Red Sunset Maple.

With a little care and attention, your Red Sunset Maple will be a stunning centerpiece of your garden for years to come.

How close can I plant a Japanese maple to my house?

Japanese maples are a popular choice for landscaping due to their compact size and beautiful foliage.

However, many people wonder how close they can plant a Japanese maple to their house.

While it is possible to plant Japanese maples closer to the house than other types of trees, it is important to keep in mind that they should be planted at least 10 feet away from the house.

This will provide enough space for the roots to spread out and prevent the tree from damaging the foundation or walls of the house.

In addition, it is important to choose a spot that receives ample sunlight, as Japanese maples require full sun to partial shade in order to thrive. With proper care, a Japanese maple can be a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any landscape.

Does a red sunset maple have invasive roots?

The red sunset maple is a type of tree known for its beautiful red leaves. While it is not considered an invasive species, some gardeners worry about its roots.

Unlike other trees, the red sunset maple’s roots are not particularly aggressive. Instead, they tend to grow slowly and stay close to the surface of the soil.

This makes them less likely to damage sidewalks or other structures. However, it is important to note that the roots of any tree can be damaging if they are not properly cared for.

If you are concerned about the potential for damage, it is best to consult with a professional before planting a red sunset maple in your garden.

How much space does a maple tree need?

Planting a maple tree. Before planting, it is important to take into consideration how large the tree will eventually grow.

The roots of a maple tree can spread far and wide, so it is important to give the tree enough space to grow.

The suggested spacing for planting between the maple tree is usually 25 feet. This number takes into consideration that the roots of specific species of maples develop deep while others grow shallow roots that are closer to on the ground.

By giving the tree enough space, you will help ensure that the roots have enough room to spread and that the tree has adequate access to water and nutrients.

In addition, proper spacing will also help to prevent damage to sidewalks, driveways, and other structures as the tree grows.

How far from a house should a red sunset maple be planted?

Red maples are a popular choice for landscaping because of their beautiful red leaves. However, before planting a red maple, it is important to consider its root system.

The roots of red maples are more extensive than those of other types of maple trees, and they can grow up to twice as big. As a result, it is important to plant red maples at least 30 feet away from your home.

By doing so, you will ensure that the roots do not damage your foundation or underground plumbing. Additionally, red maples can provide significant shade and beauty to large gardens.

When properly cared for, these trees can grow 40-60 feet tall, making them a stunning addition to any landscape.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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