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Acer saccharum

Common Name(s):
Northern Sugar Maple, Sugar maple
Native Plants, Trees

Northern Sugar Maple is a deciduous tree that may grow 40 to 120 feet tall.  The leaves are opposite with 3-5 palmate lobes and smooth margins.  The bark of young trees is smooth becoming heavily scaled with age.  Greenish-yellow flowers on long stalks mature in spring.  During fall, brown, winged samaras mature.

This tree does not do well in a restricted root zone situation. It tolerates shade better than most maples. It makes an excellent landscape tree that casts very dense shade.  It has moderate pollution tolerance.

This tree is the 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.

Regions:  Mountains

Seasons of Interest: Spring and fall

     Leaves: Fall Bloom: Spring  Fruit/Seed/Nut: Fall

Wildlife Value: Seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.  White-tailed deer browse twigs and leaves but this tree is moderately resistant to deer.  The large diameter tree often contains hollows used by wildlife.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems.  Susceptible to verticillium wilt, anthracnose, cankers, leaf spot and tar spot.  Also susceptible to aphids, borers and scale.  Leaf scorch may develop with drought conditions.  Frequently used as a street tree, but is generally intolerant of road salt, soil compaction and pollution.

50-75 ft.
The Acer saccharum has small, insignificant greenish-yellow flowers in early spring.
The Acer saccharum is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in fertile, slightly acidic, moist soils in full sun. It grows poorly in compacted, poorly drained soils, is intolerant of road salt and generally intolerant of urban pollution.
Medium to coarse
Conical to round crown; dense foliage
30-45 ft.
Growth Rate:
The Acer saccharums leaf is a 3-6" wide, opposite, simple leaf with 3 to 5 lobes which turn yellow/orange/red tones in the fall.
bird, deciduous, fall color, large shade tree, wildlife, deer resistant

NCCES plant id: 1895

Acer saccharum Acer saccharum
Geneva Wirth, CC BY-NC-2.0
Acer saccharum Acer saccharum
Kent McFarland, CC BY-NC-2.0
Acer saccharum leaves Acer saccharum leaves
Maggie, CC BY-NC-2.0
acer saccharum acer saccharum
Kent McFarland, CC BY-NC-2.0