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Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum

Sugar Maple Leaf of Sugar Maple Bark of Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple
G. Lumis

Leaf of Sugar Maple
G. Lumis

Bark of Sugar Maple
G. Lumis

Summary
Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf
Height: 100 to 120 feet
Spread: 70 to 80 feet
Shape: Spreading

Green summer foliage turns a mixture of yellow, orange, and red in the fall.

Plant Needs
Zone: 3 to 8
Light: Partial shade to full sun
Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry 
Soil Type: Sandy or loam 
pH Range: 3.7 to 6.5

Functions
Suggested uses for this plant include shade tree.

Planting Notes
Plant trees that have balled and burlapped roots. Requires fertile, moist, well-drained soil.  Does best when planted in location where it will have ample room to spread. Not salt tolerant and not very pollution tolerant.

Care
Requires little care when planted in proper location (well-drained, fertile, moist soil away from polluted city conditions). Otherwise, maintain proper soil conditions.  The hard wood of a Sugar Maple rarely suffers storm damage.
See Soil Improvement

Problems 
Leaf scorch (in excessive droughts) and Verticillium wilt can be a problem. Susceptibility to gas and smoke damage makes Sugar Maples less suitable for city conditions than Norway and Red Maples.

Alternatives
Consult local sources, including historic or public gardens and arboreta, regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of ACER SACCHARUM
`Globosum' -- a dwarf, globe-shaped form (10 by 10 feet after 20 years)
`Sweet Shadow'-- a cut-leaf form (60 to 75 feet height; spread may be up to 2/3 of height)
`Columnare'-- an upright columnar form
`Green Mountain' -- tolerates heat and is scorch resistant.

Comments
The fire-red to yellow color of the Sugar Maple fall foliage is beautiful.  The sap of this tree can be boiled down to produce maple syrup and sugar.  Mature Sugar Maples show a wide variation in form, but tend to have a broad, rounded head.

This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. Mary Miller, Project Director. Diane Relf, Content Specialist, Horticulture. Copyright 1989 by VCE.