Spotlight On: Maples

Maple trees are easily one of the most popular trees across America with many native species that are custom-made to grow in your area with ease. There are many kinds of maples, from slow-growing and highly ornamental (think cut-leaf Japanese maple) to the entirely practical and fast-growing (sugar maple, where syrup comes from). Maples are a widely varying family and can grow anywhere from 15 to 130 feet tall.

The maple’s distinctive fruit is the “samara”, which most would recognize as a “helicopter” that they may have played with as a child. One tree can release thousands of seeds at a time.

Care: Most maples require full to part sun and are as low maintenance as it gets. Keep them well watered until established.

iScape it!: Try a maple tree in your yard using iScape. Add one (or several) to your front or back yard in full or part sun without even digging a hole, just snap a photo of the area, or use the new Augmented Reality feature in iScape and see which maple looks best in your space. So simple, so easy… iScape it!

Autumn Blaze Maple

Scientific Name: Acer x freemanii ‘Jefferred’  

Zone: zone 3, zone 4, zone 5, zone 6, zone 7, zone 8

Type: tree

Sun: Full sun to part sun

Height: up to 55’

Width: up to 40’

Bloom: Insignificant

Uses: Specimen tree, shade tree, street tree, rain garden

Special Features: Low maintenance in a wide range of soils, drought-tolerant when acclimated  

Autumn Blaze Maple is a green-leaved, fast-growing tree with outstanding autumn color. Fruits & flowers are sparse, creating less of a mess.

Coral Bark Maple

Scientific Name: Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’

Sun: Full sun to part sun

Zones: Zone 5, zone 6, zone 7, zone 8

Height: Up to 20 feet

Width: Up to 20 feet

Bloom: Insignificant

Landscape Uses: Specimen, screening, woodland gardens, shade gardens

Special Features: Prefers rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil; prefers afternoon shade

Coral Bark Maple is a small, vase-shaped tree with pink, showy bark that provides interest in winter. The leaves turn bright gold and yellow in autumn.

Paperbark Maple

Scientific Name: Acer griseum

Light: Full sun to part shade

Zones: Zone 4, zone 5, zone 6, zone 7, zone 8

Height: Up to 30 feet

Width: Up to 25 feet

Bloom: Insignificant

Landscape Uses: Foundation planting, woodland garden, specimen

Special Features: Prefers average, evenly moist, well-drained soil; does not tolerate drought  

Paperbark Maple is a good small tree for off decks and patios, somewhere close enough to admire its exfoliating bark all year. Good autumn color.