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A picture of a Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum

Also known as

Rock Maple, Hard Maple, Green mountain, Maple

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Sugar Maple

A photo of Sugar Maple
A photo of Sugar Maple
A photo of Sugar Maple
A photo of Sugar Maple
A photo of Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple Overview

Acer saccharum is a large, deciduous tree with a dense, oval-round crown that can live for over 400 years, developing increasingly shaggy bark with age. Its large, lobed, dull-green leaves turn a stunning orange, red and yellow in autumn - often unevenly coloured. The spring flowers are greenish-yellow, appearing in short, upright sprays on trees around 10-15 years old. The flowers are followed by two winged spherical seeds known as samaras. The Sugar Maple or Rock Maple - as Acer saccharum is also known, amongst other names - is best known for its bright aurumn foliage and for being the primary source of maple syrup. Its wood is used for furniture and flooring and other parts have medicinal properties. A low-maintenance but tall tree, Acer saccharum is often planted as an ornamental specimen tree due to its architectural qualities and autumn colour. It tolerates most soils and aspects, whether sheltered or exposed, and grows happily in sun or part shade.

Common problems with Sugar Maple

How to harvest Sugar Maple

Seeds are mature when the papery coverings turn yellowish green and begin falling, usually just before the leaves fall.

How to propagate Sugar Maple



The seeds fall in autumn, where they are exposed to 90 days of temperatures below -18°C to break their coating down. Germination is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past.



By budding in summer.

Special features of Sugar Maple

Autumn colour

Excellent for autumn colour.

Attractive leaves

Attracts useful insects

An 'RHS Plants for Pollinators' plant.

Other uses of Sugar Maple

Shade, ornamental, foliage, specimen. Primary source of maple syrup. The wood is used to make bowling alleys and courts, the floors of basketball courts, baseball bats, pool cues and musical instruments. The leaf is the national symbol of Canada.


Maple syrup is tapped from the layer just underneath the tree bark. A tap is placed and left in the tree while a hanging bucket collects the running fluid.


Wood used for furniture and flooring.

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