Crimson King Maple Growth Rate: An Impressive Profile

It is worth it that you consider Crimson King Maple growth rate before thinking about adding one to your yard.

crimson king maple growth rate

The Crimson King maple is actually a selection of the Norway maple, a tree that has become naturalized in cooler, moister parts of the northeast and New England states.

This majestic tree reaches a height of around 45 feet and has a rounded shape with dense branching. Its trunk is stout, starting off gray and gradually turning black.

Like most large maples, the Crimson King is shallow-rooted and competes strongly with other plants in its vicinity.

Why I Love Crimson King Maple

crimson king maple growth rate

It’s worth noting that the fall color of the Norway maple appears a few weeks later than that of the sugar maple and has a beautiful yellow hue.

The distinguishing feature of the Crimson King maple is its deep maroon leaves, which retain their color throughout the growing season.

These leaves have five lobes, pointed tips, and long petioles, measuring approximately 5 inches long and wide.

When removed from the stem, you might notice a couple of dots of white latex. This characteristic, along with the thicker texture of the Norway maple leaf, distinguishes it from the sugar maple.

Unlike many other maples, the Crimson King lacks fall color, transitioning from maroon to a singed-looking gray-black as autumn progresses.

Crimson King Maple Growth Rate

crimson king maple growth rate

Crimson King Maple growth rate is among the fastest in shade trees. You can expect it to develop by up to 12-24″ each year until it reaches its maturity.

There’s a reason why they grow so fast within the 12-month period: they can reach up to 35-45 feet high when they mark their full-grown state. 

Considering this gigantic height, it turns out the crimson king maple growth rate is also slow. As they’ll need several decades to really accomplish their development phase.

The Controversy Surrounding the Norway Maple

crimson king maple growth rate

The Norway maple has gained a bad reputation in recent years due to its escape from cultivation in the colder regions of the country. 

The tree’s ability to escape cultivation became especially evident in the aftermath of the Dutch elm disease outbreak that devastated American elm street tree plantings in the 1940s and 50s. 

To restore shade, the faster-growing Norway maples were replanted in larger numbers than sugar maples. 

However, after five decades, the tree’s potential for escape became apparent. Luckily, it poses no threat of escape in the southern regions and struggles to grow in zone 7 and beyond.

An Old Favorite: The Crimson King

crimson king maple growth rate

Crimson King is one of several maroon-leafed clones of the Norway maple but is the most common variety available. 

It originated as a seedling of ‘Schwedleri,’ the original maroonish-leafed Norway maple that has been circulating in the nursery trade since at least 1869. 

In 1937, Crimson King was raised from seed in Belgium and eventually made its way to the United States in 1948. 

As one of the early patented trees, it received significant promotion in the nursery trade. Although there are now newer maroon-leafed clones that may slightly outperform Crimson King, they have yet to gain the same level of recognition.

Incorporating the Crimson King in Your Landscape

crimson king maple growth rate

The Crimson King maple is best suited as a standalone lawn specimen in your landscape. 

By pruning the lower limbs to a height of at least 8 feet off the ground, even bermudagrass can coexist beneath the tree in an irrigated lawn. 

It’s worth noting that the Crimson King is not very drought-tolerant, so during dry years, leaf scorch is common in southern regions. 

Wrapping the trunk during the first two years after planting can also help prevent sun scald on the smooth, gray trunk.