Acer rubrum Average mature trees are 60-90 feet in height and 18-30 inches in diameter. Red maple is shade tolerant but not as tolerant as flowering dogwood. Seedlings are more tolerant than larger trees. Red maple can thrive on a wider range of soil types, textures, moisture, pH, and elevation than any other forest species in North America. It grows on diverse sites from dry ridges to swamps, although its best development is on moderately drained, moist sites. It is prized as an ornamental because of its rapid growth, brightly colored seeds in the spring, and red autumn colors. Red maple seeds are a good source of food for many wildlife species. Seed production may begin as early as age four.