Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple
Family - Aceraceae
Size - 40 to 50 feet in height with a spread slightly less. Somewhat oval to rounded in outline. Growth rate can be slow until trees are established then it grows at a medium rate. Expect 12 to 15 feet over a 10 year period on younger trees.
Foliage - Opposite, simple, 4 to 6 inches across with 3 to 5 lobes. Dark green in summer. Fall colors can be yellows, oranges and reds. Trees don't develop good Fall color until they become established, usually 2 to 3 years depending on the site. Scorch and leaf tatter due to drought and high temperature stress can be a problem, but I've noticed this mainly on younger, unestablished trees.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - Flowers are 1/4" long on 2" to 3" pedicels. Not overly conspicuous. Fruit is a winged samara, ripening in October.
Pests and Diseases - Nothing really noticeable
Landscape Use - Makes a nice shade or lawn tree for the home, campus, golf course, corporate park. Densely foliaged, good Fall color.
Performance - 6 Does fair in the South. I wouldn't recommend the species south of zone 7 as it suffers with heat and drought. There are numerous cultivars that have good heat tolerance. A few of these are; 'Green Mountain', 'Commemoration', and 'Legacy'. These hold up much better to southern summers and are still about as equally as nice with Fall color.