Acer saccharum commonly known as sugar maple is a deciduous native tree which will typically grow 40' to 80' tall (sometimes to 100') with a dense, rounded crown. 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 autumn, sometimes with considerable color variations. Fruit is the familiar two-winged samara. Sugar maples are long-lived trees which grow relatively slowly (somewhat faster in the first 35 years). Native Americans taught the early colonists how to tap these trees to make maple syrup which has now become a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and Canada. Excellent shade tree. The sugar maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada. Excellent specimen tree for the lawn or parks with beautiful fall color. Hardy in zones 4-8.
Growing Instructions for the Sugar Maple
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Soak the seeds in water for several hours. 2. Put the seeds in a ziplock bag. 3. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 3 months. 4. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. 5. Sow the seeds on the soil. 6. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 3/8 of an inch thick. 7. Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.