It's a Girl!
Yes, I am referring to the tree in the photo above as a "girl". The tree in the photo below, I might call a "boy" Can you see some difference in color?
The flowers on an individual red maple trees are generally almost all either male or female. Do you think it is the "girl" trees or the "boy" trees that make the seeds? Which one has the pollen?
This is the time of year that it becomes easy to tell the "boy" trees from the "girls". Have you noticed all the red on the ground in places now? Once the male flowers have released their yellow pollen, their job is done and they drop off (see photos above and below).
At this time of year, if you look closely, you can notice that most trees that are still red have female flowers.
These red maple trees have the start of the winged seed (photo above). Later this spring they will mature into the "helicopter" seeds you may recognize (below).
Red maples in the woods primarily grow in wet areas. They produce their seed early in the growing season when the ground is likely to be wet. This damp soil increases the chances that the seeds can sprout.
If you keep your eyes and ears open, it is amazing what you can discover!
Share what you notice with a family member, friend or neighbor.