Occasionally, we’d like to feature a specific tree. We’ll highlight the good and the bad of the different types of trees in our area, so you can not only learn but also make informed decisions on which trees you may want to plant the next time you find yourself with a bare spot in the yard.
This time, our featured tree is the Sugar Maple. Claimed to be the most loved tree in the US, it’s the state tree of New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont. It’s even featured on the state quarter for Vermont. It’s a deciduous tree that can live for over 400 years and is mostly found in zones 3-8.
It’s considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree, making it the perfect addition to your yard at any time of the year. In the fall it adds beauty to any landscape with leaves of yellow, burnt orange and red. Fully mature it can stand 60-75 feet tall and have a dense crown reaching 40-50 feet wide, in a round or oval shape, creating some wonderful shade. This tree should not be planted in confined spaces or anywhere that salt may be abundant.
The sugar maple is a medium to fast growing tree, growing between 12 and 24 inches per year in well-drained, acidic soil. Like any tree, it prefers moist soil, but it’s moderately drought resilient. This particular maple is also the most shade tolerant, making it the most found maple in most forests, where it provides food for squirrels, deer, moose and snowshoe hare.
This maple is the primary source of maple syrup and is the main wood used for gunstocks, musical instruments, bowling alleys and pins, baseball bats, pool cues and basketball courts, including courts used by the NBA.