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Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum

Previously known as:

  • Acer barbatum
  • Saccharodendron barbatum (Michx.) Nieuwl.
  • Saccharodendron floridanum (Chapm.) Nieuwl.
Description

This plant is commonly known as sugar maple and is a deciduous tree which will typically grow 40' to 80' tall (sometimes to 100') with a dense, rounded crown. 

Sugar maples are long-lived trees which grow relatively slowly (somewhat faster in the first 35 years). It is an excellent shade tree.  It is more heat tolerant than the sugar maple.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaves:    Fall              Blooms:   Early spring, spring             Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Susceptible to aphids, borers and scale. Occasionally has problems with verticillium wilt, anthracnose, cankers, leaf spot and tar spot. Leaf scorch may be a problem in drought conditions. It has been frequently used as a street tree, but is generally intolerant of road salt, soil compaction and pollution.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves 3-5 lobed, entire
  • Leaf outline a house-shape
  • Leaves whitish, some pubescence below
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#bark#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#tree#maple#nectar plant#street tree#food source#low flammability#deer resistant#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#bark#heat tolerant#wildlife plant#tree#maple#nectar plant#street tree#food source#low flammability#deer resistant#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    saccharum subsp. floridanum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    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.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA
    Distribution:
    Piedmont & Coastal Plain areas of VA to FL, w. to southeast KS
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The Southern sugar maple flowers are visited by pollinators and seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire, wind and ice. White-tailed deer browse the twigs and leaves but is moderately resistant to damage.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Two-winged samara 3/4" long matures mid to late summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Small inconspicuous flowers appear in April hang from a long (1 to 2 inches) stalk in clusters of a few flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Medium green leaves lighter and hairy below (3-6" wide with 3-5 lobes) turn yellow-orange in autumn, sometimes with considerable color variations.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Shaggy
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark of young trees is smooth, pale gray and shaggy in older trees.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Heat
    Wind