Login

Poisonous Plants

Acer rubrum Minimize
RED MAPLE - Acer rubrum
RED MAPLE -  Acer rubrum
RED MAPLE -  Acer rubrum
RED MAPLE -  Acer rubrum
RED MAPLE -  Acer rubrum
RED MAPLE -  Acer rubrum
RED MAPLE -  Acer rubrum

Acer rubrum

Red Maple

Distinguishing features
Maples are out only trees with simple, opposite, fan-lobed leaves. The red maple's leaves have 3-5 lobes with realtively shallow notches and are silvery white beneath. Twigs, buds, and flowers are reddish but the leaves are green. It is common to have groups of buds on side leaf scars (characteristic of red maple). Young trunk bark is smooth and gray; older bark is broken and dark. Height 20-40 feet; diameter 1-2 feet.
Description
Red maple is a typical maple with opposite simple leaves. The leaves are broad and have three to five lobes with palmately arranged veins. The fruit is a two-winged, two-seeded structure; the wings form a “V" and the two seeds lie at the bottom of the V.
Geographic range
Red maple ranges naturally over the entire eastern United States and grows on well-drained or moist, swampy soils. It may be a pest species in cut-over areas such as utility rights-of-way or deforested pasture lands. It is also grown as a cultivated ornamental tree.
Toxic principle
has not been identified, but it causes acute hemolysis. In vitro evidence suggests that tannins may be responsible for the RBC lysis.
Toxicity
Fresh, wilted and dried leaves are toxic and ingestion of as little as 0.3 % of the body weight as leaves is toxic to horses.
Diagnosis
Clinical signs
are typical of acute hemolytic disease: depression, icterus, anemia,
hemoglobinemia and hemoglobinuria
Polypnea and tachycardia may result from severe anemia and cyanosis may also be present.
Laboratory diagnosis
of blood reveals a low packed cell volume (PCV), mild methemoglobinemia, Heinz bodies, hyperbilirubinemia and sometimes, increased creatine phosphokinase.
Lesions
are consistent with damage caused by hemolysis and hypoxia. Gross lesions can include generalized icterus, splenomegaly and severe, diffuse congestion of kidneys. Histologic lesions include tubular nephrosis with hemoglobin casts, centrilobular hepatic degeneration and necrosis and phagocytized RBCs and hemosiderin in the spleen, liver and adrenal glands.
Treatment
is completely supportive, because there is no antidote.
  • A whole blood transfusion may be life-saving.
  • Intravenous fluids and diuresis to reduce the probability of hemoglobin nephrosis may be helpful.
Prevention
Do not plant red maples near horse pastures. Remove existing red maples in or near pastures.
While there are no documented cases of other Acer sp. causing intoxication, they should be considered a potential problem until proven otherwise. Thus, access of horses to silver and sugar maples should be restricted.

Read more in the Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania Publication

Effect on Animals Minimize
Horse kidney.  Hemoglobinuric nephropathy.

Horse kidney. Hemoglobinuric nephropathy.
Horse with icterus. Note yellow sclera.

Horse with icterus. Note yellow sclera.
Horse with icterus.  Note yellow mucous membranes.

Horse with icterus. Note yellow mucous membranes.
Horse showing urine discoloration due to hemoglobinuria.

Horse showing urine discoloration due to hemoglobinuria.
Copyright (c) 2017 Poisonous Plants
Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use