Fast-growing Sugar Maple

notesMay 13, 2007

Does it exist?

I'm looking for some yellows to keep up with all the reds.

How come those Flames, Glories, and Sunsets grow so fast, and the yellow/ golden stuff takes so long?

Somebody get on this, quickly! ;=)

Maybe cross a Silver (or something equally eager to grow) with a Sugar?

Time is of the essence here. At least, that's what my doctor says.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
myersphcf(z6a IL)

Sugar maples are "hard" maples and as all hard woods they are slow growing...There may be some faster ones now on the market but they by nature will not be like cruddy silver maples and still have they hardness and other qualities. My suggestion is to spend some extra money and buy a pretty big tree..or if you have a friend with 15-20 ft one they could part with have it bucket dug and replanted in your yard ...thats what I did ...but it still took several years before it really took off and I am in sugar maple country...I don't think there is a quick fix for you that will be perfect the above suggestions will get you by though ...david

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 11:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, sugar maples are usually slower than reds, but is the difference really that large? I agree with the recommendation of buying a large tree. When I was a kid I was resposible for the death of a nice tree in our back yard. My dad asked me what kind of tree I wanted to replace it. I said sugar maple. We got a large one planted--big enough to provide some good shade right away, and it did fine!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The native red maples around here (Var. trilobum) often turn yellow in the fall. And it's a showy yellow. I am in N. Georgia.

I can think of some fast growing yellows but not maples.
Tulip poplar, Birch, elm, sugarberry to name a few.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, fall color of red maple seedlings highly variable - right in same wild stand, landscape planting or nursery row. Many will be consistently yellow.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm curious as to why there are no common golden orange red maple cultivars available. You would think...especially down in the southeast where sugar maples don't perform too well there would be something available since it is in such high demand.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I've got this right, Silver Maples have been crossed with Reds to make fast-growing trees.
Why can't someone do a Silver-Sugar cross?
Or do they have a personality clash? ;=)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)


what do you mean by sugar maples not performing too well in southeast? There is southern sugar maple, chalk maple (a variant of sugar maple that stays small), big tooth maple (another variant of sugar maple that can withstand hot and dry summer in alkaline soil), Caddo sugar maple from SW Oklahoma which is another hardy sugar maple growing in hot and dry weather esp in rocky alkaline soil. I have two caddo maples growing directly into limestone soil in north texas where summers can get very hot and dry. There is a nursery in central texas claiming that their big tooth maples can grow 3-4 feet a year which is impressive considering that everybody says they grow slowly.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

A Sugar/Silver cross is not possible. Silver and Red maples are closely related and can be crossed. Sugar maples are a bit different and cannot be crossed with Reds or Silvers. I do think Sugar can be crossed with Black Maple and Acer pseudoplatanus but not Silver.

Like Oaks, which have the "red" and "white" group but are all in the same genus, maples have different groups/types as well but still belong to the Acer genus.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Black maple has been considered a subspecies of sugar maple by some. I have even seen the common name black sugar maple used.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have a number of Southern Sugar Maples growing wild in my yard in NC. The largest tree is about 60' tall and 18-20" diameter. The fall leaf color ranges from bright yellow to deep orange, depending on the tree. I have transplanted a number of seedlings, and they grow very fast -- perhaps faster than red maples. They grow well on dry, rocky soils and held up great during droughts.

The Chalk Maple native to the Southeast is one of the most beautiful maple species, and I am surprised they are not used much in landscaping. They often are multi-trunked with chalky, light grey bark, and also have nice fall color.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

I don't know where you are located, but for true Sugar Maples, I have done research on a couple of cultivars that I have seen locally as I was looking for faster growing sugar maples. I found a few things of interest in the patent for each cultivar. From the patents I found that Green Mountain, Legacy, Fall Fiesta (Bailsta), and Commemoration all can be expected to grow faster than the species. From what I can summarize slowest to fastest is as follows. Standard SpeciesThe Commemoration has about the most intense green coloration I have seen in Sugar Maple, and the leaves are exceptionally thick. It grew less than 12" this year, but is a larger tree that was planted late spring last years, and suffered some leaf scorch during the early peak heat (~100F) of summer last year, and did not color much last fall as I expected having leaf damage, and a new transplant. However this year the trunk caliper has increased remarkable (it is know for this), and the tree looks great apart from SOME mild Japanese Beetle damage. The patent application stated that trees were 35' after 10 years for the patent holder. It also stated fall color was yellow to bright orange (I have seen this stated from a particular grower elsewhere that had a photo), and this has been backed up by photos that I have been able to find. The color I did see last year, was a yellow, and bright orange. I don't remember the original seed source off the top of my head. I'll look it up again in the patent when I have time.

For Fall Fiesta (Bailsta), our tree grew 10"-18" this spring. It is a smaller tree that was planted last fall and had better time of it all the way around. It is not a dark green, nor are the leaves as thick, though they are thicker than the species. The leaves also are exactly the classic sugar maple shape, though it is still clearing a sugar maple. The tree was in fall color when we bought it last year, and was dominated by orange to orange-red, and IMHO very nice. However note that last fall was a "red year", in that there seemed to be far more red than usually, with some oaks being by far the reddest I have ever seen, and rivaling locally even sugar, red sunset, autumn blaze/fantasy maple (extremely rare here). To date it has show no stress from summer weather, and I could not be more happy with it. It seems to be less of a beetle lunch as well. The patent application stated the parent tree was 25' at 10 years of age, and gave comparisons of percent of trees at a caliper at a particular age, in comparison to the species type, and green mountain, to which it was much superior to both. This cultivar also originates from Minnesota seed source, and so probable best planted from my location northward.

I do not have first hand experience with Legacy or Green Mountain, so can not give you particulars. Both are planted locally, with Green Mountain seeming being the most common locally of the four mentioned above, and does seem to do very well here, and has pretty consistent fall color locally.

Both are beautiful trees that I highly recommend in a suitable climate, which I am located at the north edge of the southern sugar maple, and southwest edge of the species sugar maple (there are hills covered with these trees nearby and are extremely impressive in fall). Both had growth spurts where short grew up to 1"/day for a few days. Also the Fall Fiesta started growing about 2 weeks later, though this may change with acclimation to the local climate.

If you are warmer and/or drier than my location, then Legacy or one of the other mentioned would probable be a better choice. For comparison sake, my local climate avers 46" rain annually, spread throughout the year. Average max high of 90-91 for about 4 weeks a year, with average highs in the 40's for about twice that length a year.

However you might consider the Shantung Maple. It reportedly turns mostly yellow in fall, grows fast, strong wooded, climate/soil tolerant (would grow most anywhere a Sugar Maple would), but is not as large a tree. Or perhaps you would prefer natives.

Hope this is some use to you.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The branching is full and symmetrical. Leathery, glossy, deep green leaves are resistant to leaf tatter and leafhopper damage. A rapid grower, easy to transplant and also resistant to sun scald and frost cracks. Outstanding fall color, shows far more oranges and reds than other Sugar Maples

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Just a little follow up from what I posted a couple days ago. Sorry for the typo's in the previous post. I was in a hurry, and did not have time to proof read it. But now I see a couple things that I need to correct.

The Fall Fiesta "aren't" exactly the classic Sugar Maple shape, and are not as dark as the Commemoration, but still a normal fairly dark Sugar Maple color.

Also my best estimate of the listed cultivars growth rates are as follows "standard species Lastly, I checked the patent for Commemoration again, and have some additional info. The original was discovered as a seedling in a bed of seedlings in Champagne Illinois, so I assume the seed were a Illinois seed source, but this was not stated. The patent application also stated that this cultivar always grew at least twice the rate of normal sugar maples, and gave a range of 30-36' at 10 years with a 6" caliper trunk.

Hope you find a good tree for you.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where I live in middle TN, there are Sugar Maples everywhere! They can grow in shade, and seem to be thriving as the droughts have killed off weaker trees and they get more 'leg room'. They are beautiful and varied in the fall, including reds, oranges, and yellows. But if you want truly consistant yellow fall colors, Black Maple is the way to go. It is gorgeous, buttery yellow EVERY year. It may be harder to find one ina nursery, but I believe Oikos tree farms has them. I would call, as sometimes they have cultivars not listed in the catalog.



    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sugar maple trees are considered a slow growing tree, maybe 1 ft. per year. I would highly recommend going to your local plant nursery during late October and find a nice yelow tree. You could ask the nursery owner to show you the maple, poplar, and oak trees that are turning yellow and compare them. The best yellow color is the tulip poplar tree. It grows very fast, but it also grows to be a massive tree. However, it sounds like you have a lot of yard, so maybe that would work for you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Refreshing dirt in potted trees
Hi guys - I have 2 Japanese Maples in wine barrels....
Need help with struggling Jap Maple
CHeck out these pictures my Japanese maple isn't doing...
Kashima maple pruning
First off, I'm new to this forum so hello to everyone!...
Japanese cultivars requiring the least sun (Zone 5)
Japanese Maple Cultivars Requiring The Least Amount...
Has anyone ordered a Jap. Maple online
Looking for a lace leaf japanese maple around 3 Gal....
Sponsored Products
'Teach, Inspire, Grow' Personalized Pen Holder
$21.99 | zulily
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Loloi Rugs Rugs Cassidy Lifestyle
Home Depot
Design House 507509 Maple Street Outdoor Post Light - 6 x 16 in. - Black Die-Cas
$67.99 | Hayneedle
Anders Outdoor Ottoman Cushion, Patio Furniture
$376.00 | FRONTGATE
Spectra Clear Six Light Round Flushmount with Clear Sugar Glass Shade
$476.00 | Bellacor
Amisco Ballerina Panel Bed - Twin - 14338-39LC/53
$394.28 | Hayneedle
Maritz Round Outdoor Outdoor Bistro Table - Black, 30" Round, Patio Furniture
$849.00 | FRONTGATE
Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 14'' Wok
$34.99 | zulily
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™