The Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) earns its name with its vivid red flowers in early spring, red twigs of new growth, red fruit and brilliant red leaves in the fall. In the fall, it also has a significant amount of variability in its coloring, with some assuming orange or even gold shades under certain weather conditions.
The Red Maple is becoming the most populous tree in the eastern U.S. because it adapts so well to so many different environments. It is quite drought tolerant, but also will grow in wet boggy areas, especially in the southern portion of its range. it grows well in almost every soil type, from sandy loam to heavy clay and everything in between.
The Red Maple makes a great shade tree too. From a seedling, it can rapidly grow into a mid-sized to large tree, by adding 2 to 3 feet of height per year. Its dense foliage and rapid growth make it an excellent choice for a shade tree near a deck or on the south or west side of a house. Not only will it provide excellent protection from the summer sun, but it will give you a brilliant show in fall to enjoy, before dropping its leaves to let the winter sun come through.