Sugar Maple

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.

Bark -

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.

Sugar Maple foliage

Sugar Maple in the Fall

Sugar Maple used in landscaping