Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Native of the month: Sugar Maple

Sugar maple, a native plant for the Maryland garden
This month, I wanted to pick a native that has amazing fall color. Although there are a number of native trees that provide great color, including birch and hickory, in my mind, nothing compares to the sugar maple (acer saccharum). These trees have incredible leaves that vary from orange, to red, to scarlet.

In addition to their beautiful fall color, they make a wonderful shade tree and have high wildlife value. A number of songbird varieties nest in sugar maples. The only bad thing about these trees is that they can get BIG - up to 75 feet tall. So you need a lot of room for one of these guys. Also, they are not very tolerant of urban conditions - they need lots of room for their roots, and don't tolerate salt.

Sugar maples are native to the northeastern and north-central part of the U.S. and extend up in to Canada. The sugar maple is so important in Canada, they put it on the flag!

If you have room in your yard, you should consider this tree. It is beautiful year round, but especially in the fall.

By the way - fall is a great time to plant trees. If you decide to plant, consider planting a native, like the sugar maple or other native trees in your area.

You might also like:

September Native of the Month: Blueberry
August Native of the Month: Joe Pye Weed

Photo credit:


  1. Hooray, another blogger who writes about native plants! Two thumbs up!

  2. I agree that fall is a great time to plant..especially trees. I'm glad to see you are talking up the value of native plants. So often people overlook them for the showier exotics. I just bought a White Fringetree for my garden. While it technically is not native to CT, where I garden, it is native to the eastern US. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in full bloom in the summer.

  3. Thanks to you both for the nice comments.

    Debbie - good luck with your Fringetree. I have one in my yard that is really beautiful.