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© coatlicue (iNaturalist)

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Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 3 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Red Maple and Sycamore Maple

Red Maple (Acer rubrum) vs. Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Updated April 28th, 2021

These two species are sometimes confused, especially when people do not know to check against Sycamore maple. Both have serrated leaf margins and frequently have reddish-tinged petioles, samaras, and other features. The flower structure and timing is radically different, but the species can also be distinguished by leaves and buds with relative ease if you know what to look for. In North America, red maple is widespread and common, whereas sycamore maple is uncommon in the wild, and usually most common in and near urban areas.

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collage of Red Maple and Silver Maple

Red Maple (Acer rubrum) vs. Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Updated December 29th, 2019

Red and silver maple are closely related and have similar buds, but are usually easy to tell apart by leaves and growth habit. They can occur in the same habitat, but red maple occurs in a wider range of habitats. Hard-to-distinguish trees may be a hybrid: Freeman Maple (Acer ×freemanii), which occurs naturally and is also widely planted in landscaping.

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collage of Red Maple and Mountain Maple

Red Maple (Acer rubrum) vs. Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum)

Updated December 4th, 2019

These plants can overlap in habitat, and are confused because both have serrated leaf margins, and both can have reddish petioles. They are easily distinguished by leaf texture and flowering date and appearance. Red maple has a variable leaf shape that sometimes looks like that of mountain maple.

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