G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | Page 22 | University of Missouri Extension

Revised June 2008

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Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

Large trees

Sugar maple
Sugar maple

  • Maximum height
    90 feet
  • Relative growth rate
  • Freedom from insect pests
  • Freedom from disease problems
  • Resistance to storm damage
  • Will grow on poorly drained soil
  • Will grow in hot, dry areas
  • Easy to transplant
  • Withstands city conditions
    Very poor

The fire red to yellow fall color of the sugar maple is one of the most beautiful sights in Missouri. The sap of this tree can be boiled down to produce maple syrup and sugar. Mature sugar maples show a wide variation in form but tend to have a broad, rounded head. At least one disease and two insects attack sugar maple; this limits its usefulness in areas of the state where these pests are a problem. Susceptibility to gas and smoke damage makes sugar maple unsuitable for city conditions. It does not tolerate poor soil drainage.

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