There are roughly 125 species of maples belonging to the genus Acer, most being native to Asia and Europe. However, there are a number of species suitable for growing in our region for shade, accent, or ornamental purposes. Depending on the variety, the maximum height can range from 20 to 46 feet, and the maximum width from 16 to 40 feet. Typically, they prefer being planted in an area of full sun, but some varieties can tolerate partial shade. They prefer moist soil, but many varieties are drought tolerant.

The majority of maples have leaves in the ‘classic’ three-lobed, maple-leaf shape which we recognize immediately from our national flag! The exception is the Manitoba maple, which have pinnately compound leaves that tend to look similar to ash tree leaves. Maples typically flower in spring, although the flowers are not particularly showy or ornamental. However, the flowers develop into winged seeds called samaras. On many varieties, the samaras provide a lovely contrast to the green foliage.

Maples are at the peak of their beauty in the late summer and early autumn when their leaves start to turn. Fiery reds, brilliant oranges, and bright yellows will fill your outdoor space as the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler.


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