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Red maples in bloom

Red maples are medium sized trees that are in bloom on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. They bloom very early in the year before the last killing frost. They bear immature seeds by mid-April and mature seeds by the end of May. The seeds are eaten by songbirds, squirrels, and deer. The soft wood develops cavities that are used by songbirds, bats, owls, raccoons, opossums, and wood ducks. Red maple is well-adapted to the refuge’s poorly-drained saturated soils. It occurs in forests with both pine trees and hardwood trees.