Could a red maple and a sugar maple be grown in a warm climate?

windel(9b)July 18, 2013

Hi, I live in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the hardiness zone map officially states that my zone is 10a but I think itôs really 9b.

We have cool but usually sunny winters (mornings can be cold: sometimes 0ðC (32ðF) but usually between 2-3ðC (37ðF) to 7-9ðC (47ðF); daytime highs vary a lot: between 14ðC (57F) to 19-20ðC (70F)), sometimes with very cool rainy days. We sometimes have frosts but they occur like 3-5 times a year. The lowest it can get is around -4 (28ðF) but itôs very rare.
Summers are very rainy (we have a lot of thunderstorms) and warm but not hot (May is very hot and dry though, with temperatures around 32ðC (90ðF), sometimes higher).

If you want to think of a similar climate, think of Los Angeles (they have their rainy season in winter, not summer like me though).

In my neighborhood, there are many sweet gums (but the majority are evergreen) and deciduous ash trees and I once saw a silver maple growing very well.

I think I could grow them but what do you think?

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It looks like some varieties of red maple might work well. There appear to be varieties that are perfectly happy in florida, which have no chill requirements to break dormancy. Sugar maples, however probably wouldn't do particularly well. One article I found states that they require 2500 continuous hours of chill (below 41f) to break dormancy. Without that chill, they'd probably do well enough for a couple years, but eventually would either go dormant and not come out of it, or they'd just die from the stress of not being able to rest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Top of page 3 references the lack of chill requirement for floridian acer rubrum

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 1:13PM
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another option, similar to sugar maple, would be florida maple, Acer floridanum, also called the southern sugar maple. obviously, it isn't identical to it's northern cousin, but it would probably be happier in your warmer climate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acer floridanum

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 1:29PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

There is Mexican Sugar Maple aka Acer skuchii.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mexican Sugar Maple

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Thank you for your very interesting responses and links. I already knew of the florida sugar maple and I thought it a very good option to plant here but I think they would be very difficult to find here in Mexico. I'll try to find them though. Oh and lou_midlothian_tx I actually live near one of the few places were acer skutchii grows (I'll be going next september).

Another thing that concerns me is that if they do survive, they might have poor fall color. Do you know any varieties of the red maple that will color well in a [very] warm climate?


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 11:55AM
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