Fall is here and the trees all around are starting to gear up for winter. When these amazingly adapted trees do this they breakdown all the chlorophyll in their leaves and pull in every ounce of energy to store for the Winter. The awesome thing about this adaptation are the vibrant colors we get to see, that are normally covered by the vast amount of chlorophyll within the leaves. One of my favorite trees around here is the Red Maple (Acer ruburm). This is one of the most common and widespread trees that grow naturally in the Eastern United States. It grows in a very wide range of habitats and is very well adapted in its range. They get 60-90 ft. tall and about 2-3 ft in trunk diameter. In the Fall their leaves turn from a green through yellows and oranges to become a bright red before they fall. These are one of the most beautiful trees around this time of year.
Another reason why I like the Red Maple is because it makes a great native ornamental tree to plant. Planting native plants are wonderful for the environment and very economical to the planter. Since these trees are adapted to their native environment, they typically need very little care and the local wildlife tend to love them. They are not very susceptible to many diseases, especially in their native range, and require very little chemicals (fertilizers, pesitcides, etc.) to grow. Also, there is an extra bonus to the Red Maple, in the Spring it blooms out with very beautiful red flowers followed by equally stunning red seeds that will add color to any environment. So, If you are planning on planting a pretty tree in your yard and you live in the Eastern part of the US, you should look into the Red Maple (Its far better than a Bradford Pear or Crepe Myrtle in my opinion).