A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Chalk Maple, Chalkbark Maple, Whitebark Maple
Acer leucoderme (A. saccharum ssp. leucoderme)
Sun to light shade; medium to moderately dry moisture level; soils include rocky, sandy and sandy loam; tolerates a wide range of pH.
20-30 feet height by 15-25 feet spread; inconspicuous yellowish green flowers in spring; seeds are winged, reddish to tan, 1 – 1 1/4 inch long, paired samaras in midsummer.
Growth Rate: Fast when young and then moderately slow
Maintenance: Easy; pest free.
Propagation: Seed germination code C (60-90); easy from seed.
Native Region: Documented only around Chattanooga
Designated a “Special Concern” species in Tennessee. Attractive understory tree that is underutilized in gardens. Trees are often multi-stemmed, usually 2-3 trunks. Chalky white-gray color to the younger bark. Good fall color, ranging from yellow to orange to deep red. This is the southern variation of the northern Sugar Maple. Leaves are smaller than the Sugar Maple but colors are just as bright. One of the best native trees for fall color. More heat and drought tolerant than the northern Sugar Maple. Prefers drier upland sites and grows commonly as an understory tree on rocky river banks, in rocky woodlands, and on cliffs and bluffs.
Flowers attract bees. Fruit does not attract wildlife.