Sunday, January 17, 2010

Maples - Acers of the American Wilds

Hope you enjoy this feature article. Please come back as I will be adding many more pictures as the year progresses.

Acer barbatum ( Florida Maple )
Native to a wide but scattered range in the southeast U.S. Closely related to the Sugar Maple but more heat tolerant; typically growing to around 30 feet in 20 years and eventually 60 feet; it can become much larger and grow fast on ideal sites. The largest trees recorded reach up to 135 x 85 feet with a trunk diameters up to 4 feet. The record growth rate is 4 feet per year ( average is around 2 )
The foliage is shaped much like the Sugar Maple and is palmately 3 to 5 lobed.
In summer the foliage is shiny blue-green above, white hairy below and turns red late in the fall. In Texas this is the most reliable Maple for red fall color.
leaves are up to 6 x 5 inches and the lobes have wavy margins and rounded rather than pointed tips. The foliage of this Maple does not scorch or disease in dry weather. All the leaves do not always fall off in the fall and this maple may hang onto its dried leaves in the maple in the same way as some Oaks.
Unfortunately rare in nurseries; this is an excellent shade tree in for the southeast U.S. It grows well in sun or part shade with average water and acid soil PH 5.5 to 6.5. It hates alkaline, salty or compacted soil so picking the right spot is important. It can tolerate occasional flooding. Considered hardy zones 7 to 9 it may actually be hardy as far north as zone 4

Acer circinatum ( Vine Maple )

A low branching tree native to forests of western North America reaching up to 40 feet in size and on ideal sites sometimes larger. The largest on record is 80 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. Moderate growing; it can reach 15 feet in 6 years and the record 20 year size is only 40 x 40 feet. The record growth rate recorded is 3 feet.
This is the only Maple native to North America that in any way resembles the Japanese Maple.
The light green leaves are almost round with 7 to 9 toothed lobes and are up to 7 x 7 inches. They are often tinged with red early in spring and also turn spectacular orange-scarlet to crimson red in the fall.
The flowers are purple in drooping small clusters. The fruits are red and horizontally winged.
The bark is red-brown and smooth.
It is easily grown from seed, tolerates shade and makes an excellent forest understory tree. Hardy zones 4 to 8 and tolerates as cold as -30 F.
Despite its native range; this Maple is heat tolerant if in the shade.

Acer x freemanii
Hybrids between Acer rubrum & A. saccharinum. These hybrids are fast growing commonly to 3 feet per year with the record being 8 feet. These round canopied trees can reach 80 feet or more in height and have the potential to reach extreme sizes up to 180 x 120 feet with trunk diameters up to 9 feet with great age. The 5 lobed leaves are about 6 inches and sometimes to 8 inches. The foliage is often brilliant red in fall. Many of these hybrids are male and do not produce seed and continue in growth until very late in the season. They graft poorly and should be grown from cuttings.
Hardy from zones 3 to 9 however it does not grow well in Alberta.
'Armstrong'
strongly upright growth habit and orange-yellow fall color.
'Autumn Blaze'
large tree with foliage that is shaped like the Silver Maple except with intense long lasting scarlet fall color. Rapid growing and upright oval in shape.
'Autumn Fantasy'
glowing scarlet fall color persists until hard freeze
'Burgundy Belle'
Intense scarlet very long lasting fall color. This cultivar comes from Kansas and unlike regular Silver or Red Maples; this one is very drought and heat tolerant. Tolerates to -32 F with no damage.
'Celebration'
very strong branches and red early fall color
'Marmo'
fast growing with a tall strong leader. Red to maroon fall color.
'Morgan'
Large leaves that turn brilliant red in fall. Very fast growing and hardy north to zone 4
'Scarlet Sentinal'
upright in habit with yellow, orange and scarlet red fall color.

Acer glabrum ( Rocky Mountain Maple )
Also called the "Douglas Maple". Native to mountainous areas in western North America from Alaska to Alberta; south to Oregon. It forms a small upright tree though sometimes growing larger. The largest recorded is 80 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet. Moderate growing; the record growth rate is 4 feet.
The palmate leathery leaves are 3 or 5 lobed and up to 7 inches across with toothed margins. They are shiny dark green and turn to red in the fall.
The yellow flowers appear in mid spring. The bark is smooth and reddish-brown.
Hardy from zones 2 to 7 ( tolerating - 43F confirmed & likely colder ); this Maple requires a cool summer climate to thrive.
It can make an excellent small shade tree and also grows very well in northern Michigan and the northeast U.S. as well as much of eastern Canada. An adaptable tough tree; it grows well in sun or shade on any soil with PH 5 to 7.5 and is flood tolerant.

Acer grandidentatum ( Bigtooth Maple )

Native to moist soil along streams in the Rocky Mountains in western North America.
A medium size tree with a spreading, dense, rounded crown. It is usually moderate growing to 2 feet per year and averages 20 feet in height in 20 years. In cultivation with the right care it can be pushed to grow much faster. Indeed one is reported to have reached 7 feet in height in the second year and the record growth rate recorded is 5 feet. A good 15 gallon size plant can be produced in 5 years.
Usually topping out around 50 feet; some trees have grown as much as 82 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. One notable tree is approx. 75 x 50 x 4 feet in Tonto NF, Arizona. In the east one tree of 63 x 36 x 2 feet grows far outside its native range in Monroe, County, NY.
The leaves are very similar to the Sugar Maple which it is closely related to. They are shiny dark green, up to 5 x 5 inches, 3-lobed with blunt teeth on their margins.
The leaves are hairy below and turn crimson in fall ( often early November ).
The flowers are similar to that of the Sugar Maple. The seeds are not widely winged, instead making a U-shape.
The bark is brown; smooth in young trees. Scaly in old trees.
Growing in sun or part shade ( prefer part shade when very young ); this Maple is very heat tolerant and grows well in soil with PH from 5.5 to 7.5. It resists leaf scorch and breaks dormancy easily after a mild winter. Drought tolerant and hardy from zones 2 to 8.

* photo from unknown source on internet



'Rocky Mountain Glow'

faster growing to 3 feet per year with intense orange-red autumn color

Acer leucoderme ( Chalk Maple )
A dense rounded canopied medium size tree native to the southern U.S. from Southern Oklahoma to s. Virginia and south almost to the Gulf Coast. It is closely related to the Sugar Maple but never grows as large. The largest ever recorded is only 70 x 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. Moderate growing to 2 feet per year it can sometimes be pushed to rapid growing with the right care. It can indeed form a good 18 inch, 1 gallon size plant in one year. Outside its native range; it is rare but very adaptable. One has already reached 50 x 32 feet in Maryland and another 25 feet in Chicago.
The leaves are shaped like the Sugar Maple but smaller. They reach up to 3.5 x 3.5 inches in size with 3 blunt lobes and wavy margins. They are drooping, dark green above, white & hairy below and turn glowing red persisting late into the fall.
The early spring flowers resemble that of the Sugar Maple but the wings on the seed spread much more widely.
The unusual bark is smooth and chalky white. The Chalk Maple is strongly branched and makes an excellent street tree. It prefers acid soil and hates swampy sites but is very heat as well as drought tolerant and grows well in sun or part shade.
Hardy zone 4 to 9 tolerating as cold as -30 F. This tree should be much more widely used in the landscape.

Acer macrophyllum ( Oregon Maple )

Native to moist woods and stream banks of western North America; this Maple forms a very striking, tall, broad columnar tree. It is fast growing to very large sizes. One massive tree of 100 x 106 feet with a trunk diameter of 10.8 feet was found to be only 150 years of age. The largest Bigleaf Maples ever recorded in the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest reach up to 165 x 90 feet with trunk diameters up to 12 feet. This extremely vigorous tree is also one of the fastest growing Maples with the record recorded growth rate being 10 feet. One seedling was even recorded reaching 7 feet in height in the first year and 17 feet in the 3rd year!
This Maple is sometimes planted in the East and there is a 60 footer growing in New Jersey. The Oregon Maple seems to be very happy in the Northeast U.S.
This Maple would likely scorch badly in the Midwest and Deep South and is not planted there. Outside its native range; it is especially well adapted to the British Isles. An excellent shade tree though the dense canopy can shade out lawns ( then again there is always Mondo Grass )
The leaves are the largest of all Maples and are often 12 inches across ( the record being 24 inches long and wide! ). They are borne on long stalks and are 5 lobed ( each lobe has a few large teeth ) and glossy dark green. The foliage turns bright orange in the fall.
The flowers are yellow, small and in long hanging clusters up to 16 inches long.
The fruit are keys with horizontal spreading wings and are borne in large hanging clusters.
The bark is smooth and greenish-brown on young trees becoming black and deeply ridged on old trees.
This Maple is shade and flood tolerant and enjoys cool humid summers and especially deep, fertile, sandy soils. Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( 5 to 7 in East )
'Laciniata'
lacy leaves deeply cut into 5 leaflets.
'Rubrum'
emerging leaves are dark red contrasting with yellow flowers.
'Seattle Sentinal'
a handsome tall, dense and very columnar tree for narrow areas.

Acer negundo ( Manitoba Maple )
Also called the Boxelder; this Maple is native to central and eastern North America along moist riverbanks. It is a fast growing broadly columnar to rounded tree reaching up to 70 feet and on ideal sites sometimes much larger. The largest on record is 141 x 100 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet ( one almost that large grows in Washtenaw County, Michigan ). Very fast growing - some records include: fastest growth rate... 7 feet height x 1 inch diameter; 20 feet in height in 4 years; 70 x 60 feet in 20 years.
Colored leaf forms are both slower growing and smaller in size.
The Manitoba Maple is weak wooded with shallow roots. A hundred years is considered very old for this tree.
The leaves are compound with 3, 5 or 7 ( rarely 9 ) sometimes lobed leaflets.
The leaflets are typically about 4 inches in length though they can reach as much as 6 x 5 inches on vigorous growth. They are dark green and smooth above, and either downy or smooth beneath.
The early spring flowers are small and hang in tassel like clusters. They are usually yellow though can be pink in some forms. The flowers later on are replaced by the keys which remain on the trees dried through the fall and winter.
The bark is light brown and smooth; later becoming lightly ridged and furrowed.
The wood is very light in weight ( 27 ibs per square foot ).
Acer negundo often seeds profusely and can become weedy and invasive. All of its cultivars require occasional pruning to removed reverted foliage. The Manitoba Maple is tolerant of flooding and grows well in the harsh climates of the Great Plains.
Hardy zones 2 to 9

'Aureovariegatum' golden leaves on red stalks
subsp 'Californica' very dense and even faster growing than regular Manitoba Maple reaching up to 82 feet in height.
'Elegans' a male clone with lush green leaves broadly margined gold.
'Flamingo' to 20 x 15 feet with foliage that is pink margined in early spring that turns to white variegation in the summer.
'Kelleys Gold' to 30 x 30 feet
'Sensation' a tall tree to the same size as regular Acer negundo. Its foliage is very different than the regular Manitoba Maple. The new foliage in the spring is a coppery red turning to green with a reddish tint in the summer then to scarlet red in the fall.
'Variegatum' A sterile female clone with no seeds and white margined foliage.
'Violaceum' very attractive with foliage that is bronze in spring turning to dark green in summer then to purple in late fall ( December in Virginia ). The flowers are pink and the bloomy shoots later turn to purple.
'Winter Lightning' generally very similar to regular Acer negundo except with shiny bright orange winter shoots. The foliage turns brilliant yellow in autumn.



Acer nigrum ( Black Maple )
MY FAVORITE MAPLE! Why the hell is it not planted more!!! This Maple is not abundant anywhere though I have run into some real beauties growing wild in the Canard River Valley outside Amherstburg, Ontario. I always thought this tree was more beautiful in all seasons than the Sugar, Red and Silver Maples growing in proximity. Despite its beauty most people in that region don't even know the Black Maple exists while the Silver Maple is planted to rediculous excess.
In Washington, D.C. the Black Maple grows in Garfield Park.
This tree is uncommon in the wild but native over a wide range from Minnesota to the St. Lawrence Valley and south to Missouri, Tennessee and western Maryland. It is not native anywhere on the Piedmont or coastal Plain.
The Black Maple grows at a similar rate to the similar size as the closely related Sugar Maple. The record size is 170 x 130 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet.
A notable tree of 120 x 130 x 5.5 feet grows at Allegan Co., Michigan. The Black Maple is rarely bothered by pests or disease and can live up to 500 years.
The leaves somewhat resemble the Sugar Maple but are nearly 3 more shallowly lobed, droop and are hairy below. They are large up to 8 x 8 inches ( sometimes to 11 inches ) and are dull dark green with yellow veins and turn brilliant gold to orange in the fall. This Maple has a very dense canopy casting deep shade.
The yellow flowers are similar to that of the Sugar Maple.
The bark is dark gray to almost black and deeply furrowed.
This is the only Maple other than the Sugar Maple that is valuable for commercial Maple syrup production. Also like the Sugar Maple; it has highly valuable timber is used for furniture, flooring, interior trim and cabinet work. Unfortunately this tree is no longer abundant with most of its native range fitting within the Midwest corn belt where the rich forest that greeted the European Settlers has been gutted, destroyed and almost entirely converted to agriculture.
This rree is well adapted for landscape use being tougher than the Sugar Maple. The Black Maple is tolerant of clay, heat, drought, pollution and shade.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 ( an estimation - confirmed hardiness is at - 33 F )


* photo from unknown internet source


'Morgan' superb orange-red fall color
'Sweet Shadow' vivid orange fall color

Acer pennsylvanicum ( Striped Maple )

Native to moist woodlands from Minnesota to Nova Scotia, south through the Appalation Mountains to northern Georgia. It is a broadly columnar tree reaching up to 40 x 20 feet in 20 years which is usually about its mature size. The largest Striped Maple on record is 82 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. One almost that large grows in Bailey Arboretum in Nassau County, New York. A 50 foot tree is reported to grow in the Scranton, PA area. A moderate grower; the fastest growth rate ever recorded is 4 feet.
The Striped Maple only lives up to 100 years in age at most.
The serrate edge leaves have 3 triangular forward pointing lobes and are up to 10 x 10 inches in size ( usually around 6 ). The leaves are pinkish then bright green in spring turning dark yellow-green and smooth above in summer turning to golden yellow or sometimes orangish in the fall ( typically mid October ).
The flowers are small and bright yellow and are borne in drooping racemes up to 6 inches in early spring.
The bark is smooth and green with white vertical stripes becoming darker and warty in old trees. The wood typically weights 33 ibs per square foot.
Hardy from zones 2 to 8 and preferring cool summer climates. The shallow wide spreading roots like cool soil. Shade tolerant and often a forest understory tree in the wild; the Striped Maple scorches badly on hot dry sites. Surprisingly it is reported as growing in the Washington, D.C. area at Mount Vernon and Fern Valley in the U.S. National Arboretum.

'Erythrocladum' the bark is salmon-red striped white. The new shoots are salmon to coral red. The buds are bright pink.

* photo from unknown source on internet


Acer rubrum ( Red Maple )
Native to eastern North America from Manitoba to Newfoundland; south to the Gulf Coast. The Red Maple is a broadly columnar fast growing tree often over 3 feet per year and can reach heights in excess of 80 feet. Indeed some of the trees that grew in the river valleys of America before European settlement reached truly massive sizes. The largest Red Maples ever recorded reach up to 180 x 120 feet with a trunk diameters up to 7.5 feet. One tree of 180 x 120 x 6 feet grew in St. Clair County, Michigan and another of 141 x 90 x 7.5 feet in Smokey Mountains, N.P. in Tennessee. In Canada; the Ontario champion is a massive tree of 107 feet tall and 4.3 feet in diameter at Squirrel Island on Lake St. Clair.
Some records are: single year growth increase of 8 feet with diameter increase of 0.5 inches; 30 feet in 10 years; 80 x 60 feet in 20 years. The seedlings can reach a foot in height by the end of the first growing season.
The Red Maple can live up to 300 years of age.
The foliage is 3 or 5 lobed to 5 x 5 inches ( rarely 8 inches ) and is glossy dark green above and glaucous bluish-white below. In autumn the foliage turns to a combination of yellow, orange and fiery red. Foliage is usually reddish in early spring.
Wilted leaves of Acer rubrum can kill a horse by thickening bloods ability to carry oxygen to organs within 10 to 24 hours.
In very early spring ( January in Deep South ) the leafless twigs are covered in dense red flower clusters made up of tiny flowers which later become the reddish winged fruit.
Branches are generally not brittle unlike the Silver Maple ( Acer saccharinum ).
The bark is light gray and smooth becoming rough and shaggy with age.
In North America the lumber is valued for furniture. This tree is not important for the making of Maple Syrup.
Red Maples are best grown on their own roots since they are often not graft compatible.
Tolerant of swampy soils and pollution but not salt or deer.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 though this Maple does not grow well in Alberta.
In northern areas grow trees from local or northerly seed source. If you try seed from Florida or Alabama or anywhere in the Deep South it will likely not survive the winter north of zone 6. Planting is best done in early spring.

* photo from unknown source on internet

'Autumn Glory'
Scarlet fall color on rounded crowned tree.
'Bowhall' columnar tree growing to 80 feet
'Brandywine'
This seedless cultivar is excellent in the south. Its fall color is 10 days later than average for Acer rubrum and is an intense deep red. Growing to an average of 25 x 12 feet in 12 years and hardy north to zone 4.

* photo taken @ U.S. National Arboretum on November 2000



subsp. 'Drummondi'

grows native in the lower Mississippi Valley and some of the Prairie states. It has larger flowers and thicker shallower lobed leaves which are white below. Tolerates salty soil.
'Gerling'
broad conical shape. Fiery scarlet fall color.
'Mag Magenta'
to 75 feet in height with very intense red fall color. Very drought tolerant compared to regular Acer rubrum.
'Morgan'
similar to 'Ruby Frost' and also very cold tolerant
'October Glory'
Fast growing to 25 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 5 inches in only 7 years. Very late fall color is intense scarlet red and lasts for several weeks. The leaves are thick and lush green. Less hardy than some Red Maple but still good as far north as zone 4b




* photo taken on job site in Howard County, MD

'Red Rocket'
Narrow pyramidal in shape and growing up to 3 feet per year. This cultivar comes from Minnesota. Red-scarlet fall color.
'Red Sunset'
lush shiny dark green leaves that turn brilliant scarlet in the fall. Vigorous with strong branching.
'Ruby Frost'
Very cold and extremely drought tolerant. Strong uniform branching and good glowing scarlet fall color. Strong branches.
'Scanlon'
A pyramidal to columnar tree reaching up to 80 feet in height. While the fall color is generally orange it can be disappointing in coastal and maritime areas.
'Scarlet Night' only hardy from zones 7 to 9. It holds its glowing scarlet fall color very late into late November.

Acer saccharinum ( Silver Maple )
A majestic broadly columnar to spreading tree native to moist river banks of eastern North America. Rapid growing when young; it is commonly to excessively planted in parks, yards and along streets. The Silver Maple can easily reach 100 feet and some have reached truly gigantic proportions of up to 160 x 120 feet with trunk diameters up to 10.5 feet. The Ontario, Canada champion is 110 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 7 feet in Southwold Township, Elgin County. One of the tallest Silver Maples ever recorded is at Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA.
Other notable trees: 165 x 100 x 7.5 feet in Rochester, Michigan; 125 x 100 x 7 feet in Baltimore, MD; D 10 feet in Polk County, Iowa.
Average trunk diameter of 5 inches in 10 years. Some record growth rates include: diameter of 7 inches in 7 years; 20 feet in 4 years; 53 x 47 feet in 10 years; 60 feet in 15 years; 70 x 47 feet with trunk diameter 1.4 feet in 20 years; trunk diameter of 3.2 feet in 50 years; trunk diameter of 7 feet in 100 years! Usually maturing in 40 years and not living more than 150 years; the record is 380 years.
The foliage is very handsome. The palmate leaves are deeply 5 lobed with each lobe itself being sharply toothed and lobed. Typically around 6 x 6 inches; on vigorous growth some leaves may reach up to 10 x 10 inches. Dark green above and thinly hairy blue-white below; they usually turn clear yellow in fall.
The flowers in very early spring are small and greenish in clusters on shoots. They are replaced with the keys with spreading wings that fall off and germinate in late spring.
The bark is gray and orange; smooth on young trees becoming shaggy and flaking with age.
Flood tolerant. It is banned as a street tree in some cities. Not only is it more storm prone than other Maples; it is considered the most storm prone tree in Ontario, Canada. Surveying storm damage in 1995 & 1998 in Windsor, Ontario made me wonder why anyone would still plant this tree. Decay quickly sets in following storm damage shortening the trees life. The Silver Maple also does not enjoy drought and may prematurely drop its leaves. It hates shade and salt ( though I have seen trees thrive on streets where I'm guessing they probably would get alot of salt run off )
Hardy zones 2 to 8 but does not grow well in Alberta. Very flood tolerant.

'Northline' stronger wooded and hardy north to zone 2
'Silver Cloud'
hardiest cultivar ( north to zone 2 ) with consistant upright habit and central leader.
'Silver Queen'
fast upright growth with a straight central leader and stronger branches. The main branches have wider crotches that do NOT break easily in storms. It is a large spreading tree with deeply cut foliage. Seedless
'Skinners Cutleaf'
A seedless cutleaf variety with wider crotches and more horizontal branches. It can be prone to severe chlorosis on the Great Plains though has been recorded reaching 66 x 72 feet in North Dakota.

Acer saccharum ( Sugar Maple )

Native from central Ontario and Quebec; south almost to the Gulf of Mexico.
It is very valuable both for its lumber and the edible syrup which is extracted from it. The Sugar Maple is the national tree of Canada.

The Sugar Maple can live up to 500 years of age and some of the largest trees recorded in the original old growth forest which once covered eastern North America reached up to 170 x 100 feet with trunk diameters of up to 9 feet ( 12 feet wide at the base being recorded ). The Ontario, Canada champion grows in North Pelham on the Niagara Peninsula with a trunk diameter of 6.6 feet.
Typically a moderate grower in the wild though can be forced to grow much faster with special care.
Record growth rate is: single year growth increase of 6 feet with diameter increase of 0.5 inch; 20 feet in 7 years; 43 x 27 feet in 10 years and 75 x 40 feet in 30 years. The Sugar Maple really does look similar to the Norway Maple though and easy test is breaking a twig. The Sugar Maple's sap runs clear where the Norway Maple's run milky. The Sugar Maple has much sturdier branches and is much less prone to storm breakage than the Silver Maple. Unlike the Silver Maple; it has deep wide roots and a very dense canopy. The Sugar Maple is an excellent shade tree.
The leaves are palmately 5 lobed and around 6 x 6 inches on average ( rarely to 10 x 10 inches ). The 3 larger lobes on the leaf do have a few prominent teeth. The leaves are dull dark green above and slightly hairy beneath.
In autumn the foliage turns to glowing orange-yellows and crimson. On alkaline soils they often turn yellow rather than red.
The flowers in mid Spring ( usually April in zone 6 ) are yellow-green on drooping open 3 inch clusters. They are relaced with keys maturing in September that are up to an inch across.
The bark on young trees is light brown and smooth becoming furrowed and scaly on older trees.
The Sugar Maple needs deep soils and is tolerant of shade often being found in the understory as well as the canopy of forests. Location of planting is important since the Sugar Maple does not enjoy pollution, salt or soil compaction. Do NOT plant the Sugar Maple in planters or tree lawns less than 6 feet wide or if you do - don't expect it to grow much - its roots need room. Paying attention to selection is important to having a badass healthy shade tree. Do not plant seed from northern trees in the south; they will scorch badly ( it doesn't pay to be chiep; pick an appropriate selection from below at a local nursery - a tree is a permanant investment ).
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( reports of zone 2 )

* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010


* photo taken near Wilkes-Barre, PA


* photos taken in Bayfield, Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron




* photo from unknown source on internet


'Bonfire'
heat and more environmentally tolerant than most Sugar Maples. It is the fastest growing variety with mid green polished leaves that turn a very brilliant orange-red in the fall.
'Caddo'
Originating from a separate wild population in Oklahoma; it is disease free and extremely drought tolerant. The leaves are leathery and turn scarlet in fall. This cultivar is not well adapted for humid regions east of the Mississippi.
Colors late in the fall.
'Flax Hill Majesty'
very fast growing and among the most cold hardy of the Sugar Maple cultivars.
'Green Mountain'
Reaches up to 21 feet tall and 4 inches in trunk diameter in only 7 years.
It even grows in dry urban areas where most regular Sugar Maple will not grow. The leathery wind tolerant leaves retain their shiny glow even during drought and are 2 times thicker and shinier than the species. The foliage tolerates heat reflected off concrete that will very often scorch the regular Sugar Maple.
'Johnny Cake'
Huge 12 inch wide leaves that turn spectacular orange-red in the fall.
'Legacy'
Exceptionally vigorous and dense growing. Thick, very glossy, dark green leaves that turn spectacular red-orange in the fall. Very heat tolerant as well as drought and wind tolerant.
It originates from the western part of the Sugar Maples range where the climate is more severe.
'Steeple'
With a very symmetrical, oval and excellent shape. Reaching up to 45 x 20 feet in 20 years. Well adapted to heat in the South.
'Sweet Sap'
Double sap sugar content of regular Sugar Maple
'Temple's Upright'
to 85 x 27 feet and upright in habit
'Unity'
Bred at Portage La Prairie in Manitoba and hardy north to zone 3. This moderate growing Sugar Maple was bred for the cold Canadian Prairie. It is also resistant to frost cracking of the trunk. The attractive foliage is dark green in summer and turns to orange-red in the fall.
'Wrights Brother'
very fast growing to double the rate of regular Sugar Maple. Very cold tolerant.

Acer spicatum ( Mountain Maple )
Native to northeastern North America and forming a moderately growing small tree
with a dense, upright, rounded crown. Record growth rates are: 2 feet per year and 30 feet in height in 20 years. It generally grows no more than 25 feet though the record is 60 x 35 feet with a trunk diameter fo 1 foot ( one in Houghton County, Michigan is very close to that ). The Mountain Maple rarely survives more than 40 years.
The leaves are sharply serrated and 3 or 5 palmately lobed with tapered points. They are dark green above and smooth to white downy below and often turn scarlet in the fall.
Usually to 5 x 5 inches; they sometimes reach up to 10 x 10 inches on vigorous shoots.
The numerous flowers are small & greenish-white to yellow. They are borne in late spring in dense, slender upright panicles up to 6 inches in length. They are replaced by small keys with spreading wings up to an inch across that are green turning to red at maturity.
The branch structure is dense.
The bark is green and indistinctly striped eventually becoming reddish and smooth. The wood is about 33 pounds per square foot.
Prefers cool summer climates and is hardy from zones 2 to 6. This Maple WILL die in poorly drained or dry clay soils. It needs mulch and shelter from wind. It should be no surpise that it generally grows wild in the undergrowth of mountain and hillside forest. The root system is very wide and shallow.

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