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Glorious Sugar Maple – Acer saccharum

Most all of us are familiar in some way with these stately, magnificent and beautiful trees.  Sugar Maples have defined traditional small towns throughout the Northeast since the early settlers arrived. Even today, these native trees line the streets of many quaint New England towns. Sugar Maples were used as ‘marriage’ trees years ago where two young Sugar Maples would be planted in the front yards of the homes of newlyweds. These marriage trees can be seen still today throughout the Northeast, one for her and one for him, having magnificent size and beauty some of these trees today are nearly 150′ in height!



Of course, Sugar Maple is the number one source of syrup for producing Maple Syrup but did you know that Sugar Maple wood is the preferred flooring for the NBA or that Maple wood is used for bowling alleys and the pins!  Sugar Maple is also the state tree of New York.



I grew up in a small New England town in a traditional New England home which did have two marriage Sugar Maples in the front yard. I am quite certain it was these two trees that I first noticed and began to appreciate, first for the climbing and tire swings but later for the memories I have of each fall, the summer shade and the history those two trees were part of. In too many of today’s neighborhoods, we are not planting many of these ‘generational’ Trees, a mistake we will regret as the years pass.



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Bower and Branch grows ‘Green Mountain’ Sugar Maple, a selection of the native Sugar Maple that performs well in adverse conditions or urban conditions. Green Mountain Sugar Maple can grow 80 to 115′ tall; in 10 years it will reach 15 to 20′ in height. Some mature Sugar Maples have reached up to 150′ in height and 100′ wide!  Green Mountain also performs very well as a simple specimen shade tree for your home landscape.



The fall color of the Sugar Maple is outstanding! From bright yellows through orange to red-orange and at times all colors can be seen at the same time. Sugar Maples provide color for 3 to 4 weeks during most fall seasons. Sugar Maples grow in a very wide range of soils and is the most shade tolerant of the hardwood trees while young. Fast growing with an upright to oval shape, Sugar Maple is the leader in the landscape for easy to grow and limited peat problems, most likely never to be a concern for you.



The one problem with Sugar Maple is that today they are very much underused and underplanted. Far too often we choose a tree that offers immediate benefits without regard to the future years or the next generation. I encourage you this coming year to make a choice to plant a legacy and choose a Sugar Maple… plant some history!



Remember the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago! The second best time is today!