Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Maple, Scarlet Maple, Drummond Red Maple
Acer rubrum var. drummondii

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: rubrum var. drummondii

Synonym:Acer drummondii
Synonym:Acer rubrum subsp. drummondii
Synonym:Rufacer drummondii

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By frostweed
Thumbnail #1 of Acer rubrum var. drummondii by frostweed

By vossner
Thumbnail #2 of Acer rubrum var. drummondii by vossner

By vossner
Thumbnail #3 of Acer rubrum var. drummondii by vossner


3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral pattepat On Feb 5, 2013, pattepat wrote:

One year ago, we planted a 20' Drummond Red Maple. It seemed to adjust fine until August, when the leaves turned brown around edges, and began to fall off. We watered it heavily when first planted. We were told too much water, so we backed off, afraid we had lost our tree. Now, in February it is in full bloom. How do we go forward this year taking care of it? We planted this tree hoping for fast growing and shade in our backyard. Help!

Positive Fires_in_motion On Jan 27, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is the unmistakable Red Maple variety of the Gulf South, visible along highways, in swampy forests, and along the Mississippi River (and other rivers, of course). I would go so far as to call it an esteemed member of the "Big Four" of classic Gulf South trees, along with Bald Cypress, Southern Live Oak, and Dwarf Palmetto. (Yeah, I know, palms aren't technically trees; swap in Wax Myrtle or Southern Magnolia for it if you must.) Their reputation for intolerance to wind/hurricanes is unfounded, in my opinion. My parents have had a gorgeous 30' tall one growing on their front curb in Old Metairie for over 20 years. It grows amid lots of power lines, but the parish (county) has not seen fit to cut it down. It has been through some of the most devastating hurricanes and tropical storms you could imagine, and has never lost more than a few twigs in any of them. It has never had any disease or insect problems. I occasionally trim it with a pole pruner to maintain its form, risking electrocution. Why? Just because I think it's such a dang great tree and it deserves to get its swagger on for all the neighbors to see.

So view the Drummond Red as a "junk tree" if you want, but I think it's great, and I'd even call it worthy as a specimen planting, especially if protected from strong wind by larger untoppleable trees like Live Oak or Bald Cypress. My only slight qualm is the extremely pale green of the leaves, though that does make for a striking contrast when planted next to the dark leaves of, say, Live Oaks, hollies, or Southern Magnolias.

Positive vossner On Jan 12, 2009, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Not as colorful as varieties grown further north, but suited for TX. Tree has a thin bark which cracks easily during extreme fluctuations between day and night temps. Tree heals itself. I trim suckers/branches often to keep a neat single trunk.

Neutral escambiaguy On Nov 17, 2006, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have plenty of these trees on my property. The fall color is not as great as more northern varieties. Corrective pruning is almost always required to maintain central leader. Trees with multiple leaders break apart easily. This tree also has very shallow roots that need protecting with mulch. All in all, this tree is best placed in an open area where it can spread out and develop and thicker trunk. When grown in crowded conditions, they get very tall and slender and are prone to bending or breaking in high winds.

Positive frostweed On Aug 31, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Acer rubrum var. drummondii is Native to Texas and other States.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Gramercy, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Schriever, Louisiana
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Arlington, Texas
Flint, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Richmond, Texas

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