Red Sunset Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’)

Red Sunset Maple

  • Outstanding Red Color
  • Spring and Fall Display
  • Fast-Growing
  • Strong

If you want a tree with absolutely stunning fall color, take a good look at the Red Sunset (Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’) Maple tree.

This is a Red Maple tree to love all year round. In early spring, bright red flower buds appear on the branches before the foliage appears. They’ll open into tight clusters of red flowers.

Following the flowers, the new leaves have a slight red overlay. Even the new growth leaves and twigs are tinted red before the star-shaped, glossy leaves mature into a medium to dark green. This gives the tree a fresh, cool summer look.

But everybody knows you plant a Red Sunset for the spectacular, super early orange-red to brilliant red color display in fall. The Red Sunset colors up earlier than most, and that incredible color lasts and lasts, giving you a wonderful backdrop for football watch parties.

The Red Sunset Maple is well known as one of the very best cultivars for fall color. When this plant was introduced, it became the most desirable Maple and remains top notch today!

When fall arrives, prepare yourself for one of the most spectacular autumn displays you’ll ever witness. It’s been described as the color of a glowing flame!

How to Use Sunset Red Maple in the Landscape

This variety of Red Maple is an outstanding choice for any landscape. It’s tall and strong with brilliant red colors in the fall for an extended time. Red Sunset has become a go-to for many landscape architects and landscape companies.

Plant one as a focal point in your front yard, or place one in sight of a window where it can draw your eye to the brilliant color of its long fall display.

Try planting an informal grouping of Red Sunset as an effective focal point at the back end of your yard. Best to use an odd number of trees in this case and create a natural group by planting along a gentle, meandering curve. You’ll love looking out at your treesfrom a comfy deck chair.

We recommend planning ahead for nighttime enjoyment. Run electricity to the grouping, so you can place exterior uplights underneath the grouping. Position the lights so they’ll shine them up into the canopy.

This tree is wonderful as a shade tree in the front or backyard. The well-balanced branch structure gives it a dignified look in your landscape all year long.

Like all Maples, its roots love water. Use it in a Rain Garden to help capture water from runoff. Plant at least 50 feet away from sewers and water mains.

Tips for Care

Young plants have a fantastic pyramidal form, especially when young. As the plant matures, it will develop into a pleasingly rounded outline. These pretty trees are tough, too. Many municipalities use them as street trees regularly.

The leaves of this Maple are smaller than many other Maple varieties. The dark green top surface of the leaves contrasts nicely with the silvery underside of the leaves.

It’s a fast-growing tree but still hasstronger wood than other selections, tolerating wind better. There are no significant diseases or insect issues with Red Sunset. it’s relatively pest free in most areas and becomes quite adaptable to most areas after it has established.

Plant Red Sunset Maple in full sun for even uniform growth and superior fall color. They can tolerate part shade, but the fall color will always be best when grown in more sun.

They enjoy a rich, slightly acidic soil that is evenly moist and well-drained, but once established this plant becomes tolerant of drier soils too.

Red Sunset Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Franksred’) Details

Common name Red Sunset Maple
Botanical name Acer rubrum 'Franksred'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Fast, Medium
Height 40 - 50 ft.
Width 30 - 35 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color Small Red