Acer rubrum (Red Maple, also known as Swamp, Water or Soft Maple), is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern North America. The U.S. Forest service recognizes it as the most common variety of tree in America. The red maple ranges from the Lake of the Woods on the border between Ontario and Minnesota, east to Newfoundland, south to near Miami, Florida, and southwest to east Texas. Many of its features, especially its leaves, are quite variable in form. At maturity it often attains a height of around (and often well over) 15m (49ft). It is aptly named as its flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees. Among these features, however, it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn.
Over most of its range, red maple is adaptable to a very wide range of site conditions, perhaps more so than any other tree in eastern North America. It can be found growing in swamps, on poor dry soils, on sand dunes and mountain slopes, and most anywhere in between. It grows well from sea level to about 900m (3,000ft) elevation. Due to its attractive fall foliage and pleasing form, it is often used as a shade tree for landscapes. It is used commercially on a small scale for maple syrup production as well as for its medium to high quality lumber. It is also the State Tree of Rhode Island.