The Crimson King Maple (Acer platanoides "Crimson King") is a Norway Maple growing
18 35-50 feet high on average and 12 25-30 feet wide. It is a stunning tree as an accent piece in the landscape and makes a dense shade tree.
The Crimson King Maple grows at a medium growth rate, less than 1 foot per year, tolerates any soil and is not adversely affected by inner city pollution. It prefers a moist soil. Do not let it dry out.
This maple flowers in early spring with corymbs of yellow before the tree leafs out fully. It maintains its distinct burgundy foliage of serrated "maple" style leaves throughout the season, deepening to a darker burgundy in the fall. This maple has black furrowed bark which can be attractive in the winter garden.
Prune, if necessary, in July to prevent excessive sap bleeding.
The Crimson King Maple can be considered a heritage tree, living to 100 years of age. Hardy to zone 4a, my neighbour down the street has one growing in his zone 3b garden where it has been for at least 10 years. It may get a bit of tip dieback after a particularly harsh winter, but maintains its rounded oval shape.
A real beauty in the home garden, be sure to provide ample room for this specimen. If you like the appearance of the Crimson King Maple but don't have the room necessary for it to spread, try the Crimson Sentry. This tree is similar in appearance and hardiness. It differs in growth, though, growing 20+ feet high and 10 feet wide on average. The Crimson Sentry does best in an area sheltered from wind.
PS I just came across an interesting forum discussion on Norway Maples. Follow this link to see what the buzz is all about:
PSS The City of Lethbridge, Alberta has planted Crimson King Maple on some city boulevards and properties. Good on you Lethbridge!
*The above photo of the Crimson King is not a typical specimen of growth habit. The neighbour said his children, when young, used to swing on the branches while it was young resulting in breakage. The result was a smaller more rounded tree which the owner has trimmed to this size.