open main page here



MAPLE, RED

Acer rubrum


A NOTE ABOUT MAPLES IN THE USA



Acer rubrum of the family Aceraceae. Actually, Acer glabrum is also sometimes sold as red maple, among its many other common names, but if you buy red maple you are most likely getting Acer rubrum. Red maple (both species) is a form of soft maple, so the soft maple page on this site contains maple species that are soft maple OTHER than red maple.

I have noticed that curly red maple is sometimes indistinguishable from curly hard maple and also that although red maple is a form of soft maple, it does NOT fuzz up the way some other maples species that are soft maples do.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


both sides of a sample plank sold to me as red maple / Acer rubra (which is an incorrect specific epithet ... it should be rubrum)


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- this is one of the very few woods I've seen where the end grain update has LESS pronounced rays than the original, and the difference is quite striking on this one, but it is exactly what shows up on the wood in both cases.


both sides of a sample plank of red maple / Acer rubrum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of very lightly curled red maple / Acer rubrum--- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Although it's almost impossible to make out in the pics, there IS a light curl.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of red maple / Acer rubrum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that this entire piece is swamped with what is either blue stain or mineral stain and is not at all representative of the species. This kind of poor quality sample is typical of this vendor.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


plank and closeup. Plank has light curl along one edge


curly red maple plank and closeup --- nice color variety, but also some ugly gray mineral stain


curly red maple plank with some spalting and a closeup of the spalted section


curly red maple plank and closeup --- this one is REALLY rife with ugly gray mineral stain


another curly red maple plank with heavy mineral stain


curly red maple plank and end grain --- the color is slightly more red than the white/silver shown here


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. The closeup should have more red and the update color is correctly shown.


curly red maple planks


red maple piece roughly split lengthwise --- HUGE enlargements are present. This split piece shows how curl can be very strong in the wood but yet not come out as strong curl on a flat cut surface. The straight-on pic of the split inside really doesn't do justice to the curl that shows up when you are holding the wood. The end grain pic below gives some hint of it but even that doesn't do it justice. This piece was contributed to the site by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions. Mark tells me that the punky looking material at the edge, which I thought was bark remnants, is "red rot" but I have been unable to find any definitive references to just what "red rot" IS.


end grains showing one split side and one sanded side of the pieces directly above


bird's eye red maple plank and closeup --- this is a VERY weak/sparse set of eyes and much of the plank has no eyes at all


a pair of spalted red maple pieces and a closeup --- there are several more pics of these pieces on the "maple, spalted" page. Extreme enlargements are present


fiddleback red maple veneer and closeup; the color on the closeup is more accurate than the color on the distance pic


a sheet of red maple veneer and a closeup from it --- despite the name, the white color is accurate



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
red maple (Acer rubrum, also listed as swamp maple, soft maple, and red flowered maple) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views

web pics:


planks listed as red maple / Acer rubrum


planks


turning stock


curly planks


curly planks listed as red maple / Acer rubrum


curly red maple sapwood plank --- this is the kind of piece that is impossible to distinguish from curly hard maple


curly red maple plank dry and a closeup moistened


curly red maple plank and closeup; note the severe mineral stain


curly red maple plank with severe mineral stain


bookmatched pairs of curly red maple planks


burl


bookmatched burl thin-wood


ambrosia red maple log end. Most of the ambrosia maple pics on this site are on their own page ("maple, ambrosia")


veneer


red maple burl veneer


bowl blank


bowl made from red maple burl --- the bright pink color seems unlikely, but I cannot say for sure that it is incorrect. Also, this was listed as a "bowl" but I'd call it a vase.


red maple bowls turned and photographed by Tom Pleatman, whom I thank for these pics and other contributions to the site. Big enlargements are present.


the bottom of a laminated bowl, with two sections of curly red maple. The pic was taken after the application of one coat of natural stain, and the bottom view shows up the curly red maple to better effect that the pic of the top view, which is why that view is shown here. The wood between the two pieces is padauk and behind that is wenge and white limba. This is a very nice example of curly red maple although it is heartwood and very brown, as opposed to the sapwood which is more white. I somehow neglected to get a pic of the raw plank from which these pieces were taken, so it is not shown in the section of my own samples at the top of the page.