The Q&A Archives: Sugar Maple Tree

Question: I want to plant a sugar maple tree in my yard. I really do not know much about the tree can you tell me some information on the tree: how fast do they grow a year, do the roots stay near the grass surface, I just want to make sure the grass will grow under the tree so any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated. The tree I am going to buy is 4-5 feet tall.

Answer: Sugar maples (Acer saccharum) are very large trees and grow slowly at about a foot a year to about 60 or 70 feet tall and about two thirds that wide under landscape conditions. This may be too large for many residential properties. It does best in a rich and moist yet well drained soil. Among the maples, this one is less likely to develop extensive surface roots, but any dense-canopied large tree will shade the soil surface and compete with other plants for water and nutrients possibly making it difficult to grow lawn beneath it. The problem will not become apparent for some years however as the tree needs to put on some size for the effects to be felt severely.

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