Sutton Massachusetts



Red Maple Tree Leaves

Red maple trees are prized for their gorgeous foliage in the fall. Their vibrant green leaves turn a rich red color, sometimes speckled with yellow.

While many people think of Maple Leaves as having the sharp indentations like you see on the Canadian flag, Red Maple leaves are far more gently shaped. The maple tree leaves do have five lobes, or "pointy parts", but the two bottom most lobes are fairly small so many times people will say they have three lobes.

In terms of layout, there is one central lobe right down the middle of the leaf and then a lobe out to either side, almost at right angles. The space between the lobes is called the cleft. Other maple trees have a very deep cleft, but on the red maple this cleft is fairly shallow.

red maple photo

The stems that attach each leaf to the branch are often a rich rosy red color in the fall.

red maple photo

Note that there are different "cultivars" - or types - of red maple and all of them have slightly different leaves. Some are more orangey, others are more red or burgundy, and so on. The leaves can range from very rounded to almost a bit jaggedy.

red maple photo

red maple photo

red maple photo

However if you're trying to compare this with the silver maple, which is a fairly close relative also found in Sutton, the silver maple has VERY deep clefts and has five very distinct lobes to it. It looks much more like the Canadian Flag. The above images, even though more sharply edged than the previous rounded ones, are still a form of red maple because those bottom lobes are so small.

I've tried to figure out which specific cultivars of red maple these two could be - since clearly they aren't exactly the same - but so far no luck. From what I see though the upper photos with rounded edges seem to be a southern variety, and the lower photos with the more pointy edges seem to be a northern variety.

Red Maple Tree Information
Red Maple Tree - Main Page
Red Maple Tree Leaves
Red Maple Tree Seeds
Red Maple Tree Bark
Red Maple Tree Foliage

Trees of Sutton Massachusetts

Massachusetts Foliage Photo Collection
Sutton Massachusetts Photo Album