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101.Southern Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum

Tree Details

Hardiness zone:
4 to 8
60 to 75 ft.; potential to 100 to 120 ft.
Variable but usually about 2/3’s the height
Upright oval to rounded; usually quite dense foliage
Tolerates shade and is often seen on the forest floor under a canopy of leaves gradually developing and assuming its place in the climax forest
Prefers well-drained, moderately moist, fertile soil; does not perform well in tight compacted situations
1/5 to ¼ inch wide, greenish yellow borne on 1 to 3 inch long pendulous hairy pedicels
Samara, glabrous, 1 to 1.75 inch long, somewhat horseshoe-shaped with nearly parallel or slightly divergent wings, maturing September-October
Landscape use:
One of the best of the larger shade and lawn trees; excellent for lawn, park, golf course, possibly as a street tree where tree lawns are extensive
Eastern Canada to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. Introduced 1753
Suffers from extended heat and if used in the South should be located away from stressful sites
Significant Features:
Beautiful fall color and pleasing growth habit


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Arboretum Consultant

Michael A. Dirr

Dr. Michael A. Dirr is a horticulturist associated with the University of Georgia. Dr. Dirr has published over 300 scientific and popular publications and has authored seven books, including A Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture and Propagation and Uses. It has sold more than 250,000 copies.

Arboretum Consultant

Richard C. Webel

Richard C. Webel is managing director of Innocenti & Webel LLC, a renowned firm that specializes in architecture, landscape architecture and strategic planning. He collaborated on A Landscape of Continuity: The Practice of Innocenti & Webel, published by Harvard University in 1997. In addition to presenting lectures throughout the United States, he has also appeared on CNBC and CNN.