Something Wild: The Judas Trees | New Hampshire Public Radio

Something Wild: The Judas Trees

Aug 27, 2020

It's late August, and the leaves are already starting to change. And that flush of red you’re seeing likely comes from the red maple, also known as “swamp” or “soft maple”.

It's an adaptable tree renowned for signaling an impending autumn, and has even earned the dubious nickname: “Judas Tree” – for betraying these late summer days.  

Red maples are common in New Hampshire’s young forests, especially in areas prone to natural disturbances such as flooding in wetlands, along rivers -- and by human disturbances, too. And while forest ecologists believe these trees are increasing as a percentage of our forests, red maples are still considered a minority species, adding diversity to overall forest composition.