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Tree of the Month, Autumn Splendor Maple

By Leonard Phillips, ASLA Emeritus


Trade Name: Autumn Splendor Maple

Botanical Name: Acer saccharum ‘Autumn Splendor’

Parentage: Species native to eastern half of the US

Family: Aceraceae

Introduction: Selected from an isolated strain of sugar maple found in Caddo County, Oklahoma, by Dr. John Pair in 1966, introduced in 1995

Hardiness Zone*: 5 – 9

Height: 45′ – 50′

Spread: 40′ – 50′

Growth Rate: Medium in youth, slow toward maturity, 10′ in 10 years

Form: Broadly oval, rounded with age

Bloom Period: Before leaves in April

Flower: Greenish yellow, small flowers

Fruit: Samara, maturing in late summer

Spring Color: Mid green

Summer Foliage: Mid green and glossy in summer, very resistant to heat, drought, and leaf tatter

Autumn Foliage: Orange red color in autumn

Winter Interest: Bark provides winter interest

Bark: Smooth, grayish-brown bark becomes furrowed with age

Habitat: Grows well throughout the U.S. except in deep South

Culture: Prefers well drained, sandy, and slightly acid soil, full sun, avoid compacted soil, drought, and heavily polluted air

Pest Problems: None serious

Storm Resistance: Good to excellent

Salt Tolerance: Poor

Planting: Transplant bare root, B&B, or by container

Propagating: Budded on seedling understock

Design Uses: Large specimen for lawn, park, and residential use

Companions: None, best used with a mulch groundcover

Other Comments: Excellent tree for special locations, handsome small tree

Available from: Most large retail nurseries.


* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html


These are the personal observations of the author, living in New England – Zone 6.

Leonard Phillips can be reached via e-mail at lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com

Photos by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

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