PlantsAcer→Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sugar Maple
Give a thumbs up Rock Maple
Give a thumbs up Bird's-Eye Maple
Give a thumbs up Sweet Maple
Give a thumbs up Curly Maple

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 40-80ft
Plant Spread: 30-60ft (dense, rounded crown)
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Other: 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 autu
Fruit: Edible to birds
Other: Paired tan samaras, edible to wildlife
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Yellow
Other: yellow-green to pale yellow and without petals
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Spring
Other: late March to early May
Uses: Shade Tree
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Sap
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Ca (Calcium)
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 60 to 90 days at 41 degrees in moist medium
Sow in situ
Can handle transplanting
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Dioecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
This beauty is in front of the town library

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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 18, 2020 9:25 AM

Since there were so many photos on this page, I posted a number of my Sugar Maple photos onto Acer saccharum saccharum instead of here, plus comments. I think this is the most glorious of all large maple species in the whole world; besides being the source of maple syrup. This species is usually found as one of the dominant trees of climax forests because it tolerates heavy shade. In some climax forests of Michigan, Sugar Maple & American Beech take over as the ultimate dominating trees species, replacing the sub-climax Oak & Hickory that replaced pioneer trees of Boxelders, Green Ash, Cottonwoods, and some other sun-loving tree species.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Nov 24, 2011 1:16 PM

Most cultivars are less cold-hardy than the species. Subject to bark cracking if heavily pruned. Needs a wide space.

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Posted by Dewberry (Austin, TX) on Apr 21, 2021 9:18 PM

Sugar maples can be tapped for their sap, which is boiled down into maple syrup, but only in certain climates. They can only be tapped where the weather repeatedly rises above freezing and drops again regularly for a long time, because when spring weather comes, the sap rises from the roots, and when it freezes again the sap flows back down. A long period of regular freezes and thaws means a long period when the right kind of sap is accessible in the trunk in large quantities.

Each maple can have one hole drilled in it for sap tapping per foot of trunk diameter. You can buy maple spouts to insert in the holes, and hooks to hang buckets for the sap to drip into. Be sure to check the buckets frequently. A five gallon bucket can fill surprisingly fast and overflow.

The sap itself tastes little like maple syrup. It may be a bit grainy, but when filtered it might make a decent drink, though not a sweet one.

Maple syrup was made by Native Americans and by settlers.

After it's collected and cleaned, it is boiled, boiled, boiled down. It takes several dozen gallons of sap to make a single gallon of maple syrup, and that takes time. It is probably a bad idea to do it indoors, as it can make the walls and stuff sticky. I think I have heard of people using turkey fryers to boil it down outside. Other people find ways to boil it outside in larger containers.

If you learn about the process and find a way to cook it down that works for you, maple tapping and syrup making can be a fun and rewarding activity, especially for families with children.

When I was a kid, we tapped our maples but brought the sap to a nature center that produced its own syrup. They kindly agreed to let us trade in our buckets of sap for bottles of their fresh maple syrup. It was a great experience.

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Plant Events from our members
tinytreez On January 12, 2020 Obtained plant
Seeds obtained from OSC seeds.

Seeds soaked in water for 24 hours then place in moist paper towels to stratify inside refrigerator.

Stratification end date: April - May 2020
CharleyRed On June 1, 2019 Obtained plant
Tree was on property
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Gorgeous! by plantladylin Oct 27, 2015 8:42 PM 0
What species is this maple? by TiaLee May 16, 2021 5:36 PM 7
tree by MRTIM22 Jun 1, 2020 8:26 PM 9
Can anyone ID this? by Shurst76 Jun 29, 2019 10:10 AM 3
Dangling seeds on tree by Tewhano Apr 19, 2019 7:41 AM 13
Tree ID by jnicholes Mar 22, 2019 5:38 PM 12
Japanese maple forum by ediblelandscapingsc May 4, 2020 6:02 AM 130
Maple Seedling by LeoF Jun 14, 2018 12:56 PM 2
Maple? by flaflwrgrl May 1, 2018 7:09 AM 21
Food forest in a frigid wasteland by Ape_Goblin Apr 27, 2018 8:06 AM 5
Tree and shrub identification by Lblair Mar 3, 2018 9:01 PM 10

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