Q: I am considering planting some red maples in my yard. How far away from the house should I plant them?
A: There are several varieties of red maple, Acer rubrum, which grow well in this area. Red maples grow in full sun to partial shade and provide excellent shade in the summer as well as beautiful fall color when the leaves change. They can adapt to dry or damp sites but they cannot tolerate salt air or brackish water. Red maples have shallow root systems and are fast growers. If they are planted in high alkaline soil (high pH) they may show signs of yellowing leaves. Red maples have the potential for reaching heights of 130 feet but are most often found 35-50 feet tall here. The limb spread can be up to 35 feet. Therefore, I would suggest planting the maple on your property to allow for plenty of room for height and limb growth. A common mistake made by many homeowners is to not consider the mature height and spread of a tree or shrub. This ultimately means an unhappy plant and homeowner. You are wise to think about the mature size of the tree before making your selection.