A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Sugar Maple, Rock Maple, Hard Maple
Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (A. saccharum)
Full sun to light shade; medium moisture level; soils include coarse to medium loamy sands, sandy loams, loams and occasionally silt loams; slightly acid to neutral pH.
60-80 feet height by 25-50 feet spread; inconspicuous greenish yellow flowers in April before the leaves emerge; seeds are paired, brown-tan samaras, 1 to 1 ¾ inch long in September.
Growth Rate: Slow; possibly medium in youth.
Maintenance: Frequent disease and insect problems; infrequent wind and ice damage due to very strong wood.
Propagation: Seed germination code C (70) at 41 degrees F. Easy from seed.
Native Region: Statewide
One of the best of the larger shade and lawn trees. Spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red leaves in fall. Lives 75-150 years, frequently reaching 200 years. Avoid planting in areas that are droughty, have high urban pollution or salt, and small areas too restricted for adequate growth. Leaf scorch can be a serious problem caused by excessive drought. Cultivars available.
Very high wildlife value. Attracts birds, bees and mammals. Special value to honey bees.