Maple Trees

Maple (Acer species)

Overview

Maple trees are a staple of the landscape valued for their shade and vibrant fall colors. Maples are used in the landscape as shade trees, street trees and specimen trees. Species of maple vary in mature size and shape, leaf color and planting requirements.

Hardiness- Maples vary in hardiness. Most fall into zones 4 through 8, but some are less tolerant of cold or heat than others. When selecting a maple tree, be sure to select a species suited for Iowa’s weather.

Growth Rate- Maples vary in growth rate. Maples that are fast growing tend to have weak wood and may suffer from wind and ice damage. Slower growing maples have heavier, harder wood, making them less susceptible to branch and limb drop.

Mature Shape- Maples typically have a large, rounded crown. Tree canopies may be very dense or wide spreading.

Height- Mature height varies with species.

Width- Width varies with species.

Site Requirements- Maple trees perform best in moist, well-drained soils. Site requirements vary with the species of maple.

Features- Maples can be used for many different purposes in the landscape. Japanese maples are ideal for small settings as a specimen tree, sugar, red and Norway provide dense shade, and silver maples grow rapidly and withstand poor conditions. When choosing a maple, first evaluate the planting site to ensure it meets the trees requirements.