Sugar Maple trees come in specific varieties that are found throughout most of North America and grow in most soil conditions. The leaves of a Sugar Maple are a star shape with well-defined veins running from a center vein to the outer edges of the leaf. During the fall different species of the tree will display brilliant colors. Sugar Maples in areas that experience a full winter season are often tapped for maple syrup. Depending on variety, the tree has various growing heights and widths, known as spread, which make the Sugar Maple a popular choice for landscaping.
Green Mountain Sugar Maples grow very fast and can reach 50 feet in height with up to a 50-foot spread when mature with symmetrical canopies and an even outline. The tree will grow at a rate of about one foot annually. This kind of Sugar Maple has sensitivity to heat and drought that will turn leaves brown, or scorch, around the edges. Green Mountain Sugar Maples are excellent shade trees and commonly used along streets in residential areas. In the fall, leaves display shades of bright red and orange.
This type of Sugar Maple grows at a more moderate rate, is hard-wooded and has a narrow crown of about 10 feet wide and will reach a maximum of 50 feet high. The tree is not as sensitive to heat and lack of water as other Sugar Maple varieties. Because of its narrow consistent shape, Endowment Sugar Maples are well suited for use on landscaping islands in parking lots, on residential streets, and in the median of divided highways. Red and yellow leaves characterize the Endowment Sugar Maple in the fall.
Goldspire Sugar Maples have a maximum height of approximately 40 feet with a spread up to 15 feet when full grown. The tree will have about one foot of new growth each year. This variety is tolerant of heat and drought and leaves will not brown as easily in extreme conditions. Landscaping uses include neighborhood streets, parking lots, and along highways. Foliage of the Goldspire displays a brilliant yellow color in fall.
Newton Sentry variety Sugar Maples grow at a rate of one foot or less annually and can reach 60 feet high with a spread of as much as 15 feet when mature. The Newton Sentry is heat and drought sensitive and leaves often will turn brown at the edges if there is a lack of moisture. This type of Sugar Maple is ideal for many landscaping projects. Leaves turn orange, red, and yellow in the fall.
Temple's Upright Sugar Maple trees grow a foot or less each year and can reach a mature height of 60 feet with a tight spread average of 12 feet. The tree will experience leaf edge browning due to its sensitivity to drought and heat. Because of its compact spread, the Temple's Upright is often used in tight spaces for landscaping in residential and commercial settings. In the fall leaves show bright orange, yellow, and red.
- U.S. Forest Service – Trees: Green Mountain
- U.S. Forest Service – Trees: Endowment
- U.S. Forest Service – Trees: Goldspire
- U.S. Forest Service – Trees: Newton Sentry
- U.S. Forest Service – Trees: Temple’s Upright
- Virginia Tech University- Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation: Sugar Maple
- Scott Duncan: The art of making maple syrup