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Sugar Maple

November 30, 2018

Tree of the Month

Acer saccharum

Widely known for its unmatched splendor in fall, the Sugar Maple displays brilliant shades of orange, red and yellow, like this specimen in Holmdel Park in Holmdel, NJ. Sugar Maples can grow 50 to 80 feet tall and 40 to 70 feet wide, and depending on the cultivar, develops a columnar or oval shape. It is a beautiful slow to medium growing shade tree, ideal for any open space off roadways. On streets they are susceptible to salt damage, soil compaction, heat and drought stress, and girdling roots. It prefers a well-drained soil with adequate moisture and can tolerate some shade. Like most deciduous trees, it prefers winter pruning, but is susceptible to sunscald and bark cracks if pruned too heavily. The tree has a smooth gray bark when young that becomes platy with age. Foliage is a medium green in summer with the traditional 5-lobed leaf found on the Canadian flag. They are also prized for their sweet sap used to produce maple syrup.

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