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Acer saccharum

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Kemper Code:  H240

Common Name: sugar maple
Zone: 3 to 8
Plant Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern North America
Height: 40 to 80 feet
Spread: 30 to 60 feet
Bloom Time: April  
Bloom Color: Greenish
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium


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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers fertile, slightly acidic soil. Shade tolerant.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Sugar maple is a deciduous, Missouri native tree which will typically grow 40' to 80' tall (sometimes to 100') with a dense, rounded crown. This tree is a main component of the Eastern U.S. hardwood forest and is one of the trees which is most responsible for giving New England its reputation for spectacular fall color. Medium green leaves (3-6" wide with 3-5 lobes) turn yellow-orange in autumn, sometimes with considerable color variations. Fruit is the familiar two-winged samara. Sugar maples are long-lived trees which grow relatively slowly (somewhat faster in the first 35 years). Native Americans taught the early colonists how to tap these trees to make maple syrup which has now become a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and Canada. Excellent shade tree.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to verticillium wilt. Leaf scorch may be a problem in drought conditions. Has been frequently used as a street tree, but is generally intolerant of road salt, soil compaction and pollution.

Uses:

Excellent specimen tree for the lawn or parks. May be used as a street tree as long as it can be located on a street and in a location where road salt, soil compaction and pollution will not be significant problems.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011


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