Maple trees are similar in appearance to liquid amber trees, better known as sweetgum trees. Both types of trees are characterized by rapid growth, although some species of maple such as sugar maple grow more slowly.
The active growth period of the sweetgum tree occurs during the spring and summer. Sweetgums produce a single stem that grows rapidly at an average annual rate of more than 24 inches. The long lifespan of sweetgum trees allows them to reach a mature height up to 100 feet, with up to 45 feet of growth occurring during the first 20 years.
The silver maple is also a fast-growing tree that can exceed 24 inches of annual growth. It also produces a single stem and can reach 45 feet in height after its first 20 years. Silver maples don't live as long as sweetgum trees, so they reach a mature height of only about 90 feet.
Red maple trees are characterized by rapid growth and a short lifespan. In maturity, this species reaches a maximum of 68 feet tall. It can reach 35 feet in height within 20 years, with an average annual growth exceeding 24 inches.
- Arbor Day Foundation: About Growth Rate
- USDA: Conservation Plant Characteristics - Liquidambar styraciflua L. - Sweetgum
- USDA: Conservation Plant Characteristics - Acer saccharinum L. - Silver Maple
- USDA: Conservation Plant Characteristics - Acer rubrum L. - Red Maple
- USDA: Conservation Plant Characteristics - Acer saccharum Marsh. Sugar Maple
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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