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Acer saccharum

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, loam, clay, gravel/rock

Height: 40'-80'

Bloom Time: April, May, June

Bloom Color: yellow

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts birds, edible, fall interest, ornamental foliage, shade tree

Fall foliage of Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
  • Fall foliage of Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
  • Fall foliage of Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
  • Foliage of Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
  • Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Acer saccharum

Also known as:

sugar maple

,

northern sugar maple

,

hard maple

,

head maple

,

sugartree

,

bird's-eye maple

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Acer saccharum is a tall deciduous tree, typically growing to 75', occasionally more in the wild. It is the national tree of Canada, which uses a representation of the leaf on its flag. Foliage is green and provides one of the most spectacular fall color shows of any native tree, with vibrant hues ranging from yellow to orange and red, depending on environmental conditions. The crown is dense and well-rounded. The bark is gray, becoming deeply furrowed and dark with age. The flowers are unremarkable. They give way to clusters of winged samaras.

Cultivation

The sugar maple enjoys a broad distribution, from the southeastern US, to the northern regions of eastern Canada. It is easy to grow in moist, well-drained fertile soils. It will tolerate drier conditions at higher elevations and where summers are cool. It can be grown as a shade tree, and will certainly become a show stopper. It needs plenty of room to grow. It does not do well in urban settings or in compacted soil. Blooms in April to June. Zones 3-8

Propagation

Propagate from freshly collected seeds. Stored seeds will require up to 3 months of cold stratification to break dormancy.

Additional Notes

Acer saccharum is the tree used in the production of maple syrup. The sap, collected in spring is boiled down and reduced until it is approximately 1/40 of its original volume. A single tree will have maximum yearly yield of 15 gallons of sap, that can be processed into about 2 quarts of syrup. The timber is dense, fine-grained, and highly valued. The grain patterns are variable, ranging from clear to the prized knotty bird's-eye maple. The lumber is used in furniture making, in the production of flooring and veneer.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Sapindales
Family Aceraceae Maple family
Genus Acer maple
Species Acer saccharum sugar maple