42 Common Types of maple trees Growing in the USA (photos)


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Maple trees are quite common in the United States, so regardless of which state you visit, it’s very likely you’ll see several different types of these magnificent trees. Maples are known for two important things: their ability to provide shade on a sunny day and their ability to produce brightly colored leaves in the fall.

There are hundreds of species of maple trees, but only 13 of these are native to the United States. Other maples in the country exist, of course, but they were brought over from other parts of the world. Indeed, every state except for Hawaii has at least one type of maple tree that is native to that particular state.

Some maple trees are more familiar to people than others. For example, the sugar maple is the main maple tree used to make syrup, and it produces more than one-million gallons of syrup every year in the United States.

Other familiar maples include the red maple, which grows abundantly throughout the eastern part of the country, west to Minnesota, central regions such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and into Illinois.

All together, there is a total of 44 types of maple trees in the United States, and below is a description and a photograph of each of them.

Contents

1. Amur Maple (acer ginnala)

Amur maple acer ginnala leaves
USDA Amur maple (acer ginnala leaves)

The Amur maple is unique because it is grown either as a shrub or a small tree, rarely getting over 33-feet in height. The leaves have either three or five lobes and are roughly four-inches long or a little shorter. In the fall, they turn red or bright-orange in color, and they are frequently used as a boulevard tree.

2. Ashleaf Maple (acer negundo)

Ashleaf Maple Acer negundo
David Stang Ashleaf Maple (Acer negundo)

Also known as the box elder maple, the Ashleaf maple grows fast but it doesn’t grow for very long. Ashleaf maples are found in most continents across the globe, and the largest ones grow to 80 feet in height. In addition, the tree often forms more than one trunk, and it usually lives for up to 60 years.

3. Autumn Blaze Maple (acer freemanii)

Acer x freemanii Freeman maple
James St. John Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii)

Some of the cultivars of the autumn blaze maple tree include the Morgan, Firefall, Jeffersred, Sienna Glen, and the Armstrong, among others. Autumn blaze maples have bright red leaves in the fall and tall, slender trunks, just like a lot of other maple trees do. This tree is also known as the Freeman maple tree.

4. Bigleaf Maple (acer macrophyllum)

Acer macrophyllum
Public Domain Bigleaf Maple (acer macrophyllum)

Also called the Oregon maple, this maple tree typically grows to around 50 to 65 feet tall, although it can occasionally get as large as 157-feet in height. It is native to the western part of the United States, including the Pacific Coast, and even into the southernmost part of Alaska.

5. Bigtooth Maple (acer grandidentatum)

Bigtooth Maple Leaves Acer Grandidentatum
Cory Maylett Bigtooth Maple (Acer Grandidentatum) Leaves

Found mostly in the western part of the United States, this is a medium-sized tree that gets from 33- to 49-feet in height and has a trunk that is 8 to 14 inches in diameter. The leaves get up to nearly five-inches in length and are so close to the Sugar maple that some botanists actually consider the Bigtooth maple a subspecies of the Sugar tree.

6. Black Maple (acer nigrum)

Black Maple acer nigrum at University of Kentucky
Public Domain Black Maple (acer nigrum)

The black maple is very similar to the sugar maple except that the black maple has three-lobed leaves while the sugar maple has five-lobed ones. These trees grow from 70 to 110 feet high and are used mostly as timber for landscaping purposes and for maple syrup.

7. Bonfire Maple (acer palmatum)

Japanese Bonfire Maple acer palmatum
emeraldgardensnursery.com.au Japanese Bonfire Maple (acer palmatum ‘bonfire’)

A cultivar of the Sugar maple, this tree grows to roughly 50-feet in height and can have a spread of around 35-feet, which makes it very impressive. It makes a great shade tree and has beautiful red and orange leaves in the fall. It is also called a Rock maple and can adapt to a variety of soils.

8. Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)

Sugar Maple acer saccharum leaves
Plant Image Library Sugar Maple (acer saccharum) leaves

Besides being the number-one choice for making maple syrup, this type of maple tree also has some of the most beautiful leaves when fall arrives. It grows to 115 feet high and is extraordinary-looking. Some of these trees, in fact, have been known to grow to nearly 150 feet in height, making them a very regal-looking tree indeed.

9. Trident Maple (acer buergerianum)

Trident Maple acer buergerianum
John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org Trident Maple (acer buergerianum)

Although native to eastern China, you can find these trees all over the United States. There are a number of varieties of this tree, and its most significant contribution is that it is perfect for bonsai enthusiasts, especially since it is suitable for many sizes and designs of bonsai. 

10. Japanese Maple (acer palmatum)

Japanese Maple acer palmatum
Pixabay Japanese Maple (acer palmatum)

Getting as tall as 52 feet high, the Japanese maple — also known as the red emperor or the palmate maple — sometimes have more than one trunk that grows close to the ground. The five-inch-long leaves are quite large, and they have either five, seven, or nine pointed lobes. There is also a Japanese maple shrub that grows from 20 to 33 feet high, which a lot of people love.

11. Norway Maple (acer platanoides)

Norway Maple Acer Platanoides
Jonathan Billinger Norway Maple (Acer Platanoides)

The Norway maple tree came to the United States in the mid-1700s mostly for use as a shade tree, and it can get to 65 to 100 feet in height. It has gray-brown bark and can get up to five-feet in diameter. The leaves have five lobes and grow to around 5.5-inches in length, and in the fall, they are usually yellow in color, although some are orange-red.

12. Red Maple (acer rubrum)

Red-Maple-Acer-Rubrum
Red-Maple-Acer-Rubrum

Red maples, or soft maples can adapt to various conditions and soils, which makes it a very sturdy and reliable type of maple tree. It is the most abundant native tree in the eastern part of the United States and can get up to 100 feet high. It is both easy to grow and long-lasting because you can put it through almost anything and it will survive.

13. Silver Maple (acer saccharinum)

Silver Maple acer saccharinum
Darkone Silver Maple acer saccharinum

This maple tree is found mostly in the eastern and central parts of the country, as well as in parts of Canada, and can be called the swamp, water, or silverleaf maple tree. The tree gets from 36 to 49 feet high and is a deciduous tree that is usually found in watery areas such as wetlands and waterways.

14. Caddo Maple (acer saccharum)

Caddo Sugar Maple
Caddo Sugar Maple

The Caddo maple is a type of Sugar maple tree, and its claim to fame is the fact that it is super-easy to grow. It can get up to 60-feet high and has a spread that can get up to 35-feet, and it has attractive star-shaped leaves that turn under a little bit at the edges. In the fall, the leaves of this tree turn a gorgeous bright orange-red color. 

15. Chalk Maple (acer leucoderme)

Named the chalk maple because its bark has a light gray or chalky white color once the tree matures, this tree is native to the southeastern part of the United States and only gets to around 30 feet tall, making it a rather small tree by maple tree standards. 

16. Commemoration Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)

Acer saccharum ‘Commemoration’
Acer saccharum ‘Commemoration’

A cultivar of the sugar maple, the commemoration sugar maple tree grows very fast and has gorgeous dark-green leaves with a leathery texture to them. The tree has pumpkin orange leaves in the fall, and it gets to roughly 55 feet high with trunks that can easily be as big as 35 feet in diameter. They can also bloom a full two weeks before other sugar maple trees do.

17. Douglas Maple (acer glabrum var. douglasii)

Acer glabrum subsp. douglasii
wikimedia | Walter Siegmund Acer glabrum subsp. douglasii

Found mostly in the western part of the United States, the Douglas maple is small for a maple and gets to roughly 30-feet in height. It is able to withstand difficult conditions such as drier soil and colder temperatures. The leaves of the tree have three to five lobes and are usually one to three inches wide. The colors of the leaves range from yellow to orange to red in the fall.

18. Box Elder Maple (acer negundo)

Box Elder Maple acer negundo
Public Domain Box Elder Maple acer negundo

Box elder maple trees grow very fast but only live to be 60-100 years old. They get from 35 to 80 feet high and were once used by Native Americans for numerous purposes, including as incense when they burned the wood and as candy when they combined the sap with certain animal hides. As you can see, this is a very versatile type of maple tree.

19. Drummond Red Maple (acer rubrum var. drummondii)

Drummon Red Maple Leaves
flickr | SMOKKE Drummon Red Maple Leaves

This is a slight variation of the red maple tree and is found throughout the Midwest and the southeastern part of the United States. The tree grows to roughly 40 feet in height and is often found in areas that get a lot of rain, including wetlands. Unlike other types of red maples, the Drummond red maple has leaves with a felt-like feel on the back side and which are white in color.

20. Emerald Queen Maple (acer platanoides ‘Emerald Queen’)

Emerald Queen Maple
Emerald Queen Maple

A cultivar of the Norway maple, this tree is quite large and can get up to 70-feet in height. Its trunk, however, is slender and the tree gains yellow-green flowers in the spring. It grows quickly and in a variety of soils, and it is often found in cities planted on streets. Although it is not native to the United States, it grows well in USDA zones 4 through 7a. 

21. Fern Leaf Maple (acer japonicum)

Fern Leaf Maple Acer japonicum Aconitifolium
Jean-Pol GRANDMONT Fern Leaf Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’)

Also called a Full Moon maple, the Fern Leaf maple tree is relatively small compared to other maples, and its leaves turn a beautiful ruby-crimson in the fall. It does best in USDA zones 5 through 7, and on average, it gets up to 12-feet high and 15-feet wide. The foliage is a dark-green color before it blooms, and the tree is very easy to care for and can grow almost anywhere.

22. Field Maple (acer campestre)

Although it isn’t native to the United States, you can still find lots of these trees in various parts of the country. It gets to roughly 50 to 80 feet in height and has six-inch-long leaves. There are two varieties, although not all experts accept them, and there are more than 30 cultivars of this tree. Popular among bonsai enthusiasts, the Field maple is locally naturalized in many parts of the country.

23. Florida Maple (acer saccharum subsp. Floridanum)

acer floridanum
Will Cook Florida Maple (acer floridanum)

Florida maples get from 49 to 82 feet tall and have shiny twigs that are reddish-brown in color, as well as light gray bark and green leaves with pale-colored undersides. You can find this tree as far south as Mississippi, as far west as eastern Texas, and up to Oklahoma, Arkansas, and across to the Carolinas.

24. Freeman Maple (acer freemanii)

Freemanii Maple acer freemanii
David J. Stang Freemanii Maple (acer freemanii)

The Freeman maple is also called the autumn blaze maple and has many cultivars, including the Morgan, Firefall, Jeffersred, Sienna Glen, and the Armstrong, among others. It has gorgeous bright-red leaves in the fall and a tall, slender trunk. It is, in fact, a very stunning type of maple tree.

25. Golden Fullmoon Maple (Acer shirasawanum)

Acer shirasawanum
James St. John Acer shirasawanum

The Fullmoon maple looks very similar to the Japanese maple tree and gets to roughly 30-feet in height and 40-feet in width, making it quite a majestic-looking tree indeed. Perfect for USDA growing zones 5 to 7, the Golden Fullmoon maple prefers acidic soils and has leaves that turn red and yellow in the fall. The leaves themselves have 7 to 11 lobes and are rounded in outline.

26. Green Mountain Maple (acer spicatum)

Acer spicatum
Public Domain Acer spicatum

This type of maple tree grows from 10 feet to 25 feet high and is also called a moose or dwarf maple. It does well in higher elevations and has a short trunk and slender branches. Its 2.5 inch to 4 inch leaves usually have either three or five lobes.

27. Manitoba Maple (acer negundo)

Box Elder Maple acer negundo
Public Domain acer negundo

You can often find the Manitoba maple tree on large lots because they are not only beautiful, but also make great shade trees. They grow up to roughly 50-feet high and are cold-hardy as well. They have lovely white flowers at certain times of the year, and they grow well in nearly every type of soil out there.

28. Bowhall Red Maple (acer rubrum ‘bowhall’)

Bowhall Red Maple (acer rubrum 'bowhall')
Washington State University Bowhall Red Maple (acer rubrum ‘bowhall’)

The Bowhall is a Red maple cultivar, and it tends to be less-wide than other Red maple trees. It is a deciduous tree that does best in USDA growing zones 3 through 9. It can get up to 40-feet tall and 15-feet wide, and its fall colors are mostly a bright-red. It is perfect for streets and parking lots since it isn’t too wide, and it has three-inch leaves with five lobes.

29. Moosewood Maple (acer pensylvanicum)

Striped Maple acer pensylvanicum 1
John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org acer pensylvanicum

Moosewood, or striped maples, are small and only grow to roughly 30 feet in height. The bark starts out with green and white stripes but turns a brown color once the tree matures. The three-lobed leaves are three to six inches long, and the trees bloom in the spring time. Like other maple trees, the moosewood tree is a great shade tree, making it perfect for both home and commercial use.

30. Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)

mountain maple leaf (acer glabrum)
mountain maple leaf

These trees are also called dwarf or rock maples, and the leaves turn a beautiful bright yellow in the fall. They also have from three to five leaves and a total of six subspecies. Hardy when grown in USDA growing zones up to zone 4, the tree has yellowish-green flowers in the spring and is super-easy to grow. It is also a very attractive tree that is often found in moist spots alongside streams, as well as other locations.

31. October Glory Red Maple (Acer Rubrum ‘October Glory’)

October Glory Red Maple
Arbor Day Foundation October Glory Red Maple

The most abundant native tree in the eastern part of the country, this maple is also called the soft maple tree and gets up to 100 feet high. The leaves come in various designs and the tree itself can accommodate many different soil and site conditions, making it both sturdy and easy to grow. 

32. Painted Maple (acer pictum)

Acer Pictum Autumn Leaves
Acer Pictum Autumn Leaves

Also called the Yellow-Paint maple, this is an Asian species of the maple tree. There is a total of five subspecies, and the tree is found throughout parts of China, Russia, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. The tree gets to roughly 65-feet in height and has leaves that have three, five, seven, or nine lobes.

33. Paperbark Maple (acer griseum)

Paperbark Maple Tree Acer griseum
Bruce Marlin Paperbark Maple Tree

The Paperbark maple tree is small compared to other maples, getting only to 30-feet high and 20-feet wide. The bark is smooth and a shiny orange-red color, and the trunk of the tree is roughly 28-inches in diameter. One of its attributes is the beautiful colors its leaves turn in the fall, which range from red to orange and even pink, making it a tree that truly stands out. 

34. Rocky Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)

Rocky Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)
Rocky Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)

Rocky mountain maple trees are native to the western part of the country and get to roughly 30 feet in height. The trunk is usually 8 inches to 11 inches in diameter, and the leaves have three lobes and are four inches long. There are also four to six different varieties of this type of tree, including the Douglas, Torrey, and Greey maple tree.

35. Scarlet Maple (acer rubrum)

Scarlett Maple acer rubrum leaf
Scarlett Maple leaf

The scarlet maple is a cultivar of the red maple tree. It grows fast and has leaves that are usually either orange-red or yellow-orange in the fall, and they have five lobes just like the silver maple tree does.

36. Shantung Maple (acer truncatum)

shantung maple acer truncatum autumn
omcseeds shantung maple autumn leaves

This type of maple is absolutely beautiful, with leaves that start out yellow and flecked with red and then turn orange and blazing red. It is considered a mid-sized tree and gets to roughly 25-feet in height and 20-feet in width. It is also a very hardy tree that is able to withstand a lot of different soil conditions and climates. 

37. Southern Sugar Maple (acer barbatum)

southern sugar maple acer barbatum
John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org southern sugar maple (acer barbatum)

This tree is native to much of the south and can get up to 40 feet high and 25 feet in width. It is easy to grow because it accommodates a variety of soils, and it grows fairly fast when compared to other types of maple trees. When fall arrives, the leaves of this tree go from yellow-orange to scarlet in color.

38. Striped Maple (acer pensylvanicum)

This tree is called the striped maple because the bark has green and white strips when the tree is young. The tree grows to roughly 30 feet in height and the bark eventually gets to a brownish color once it matures. The three-lobed leaves are three to six inches long, and the tree itself even blooms in the spring time. 

39. Sycamore Maple (acer pseudoplatanus)

Sycamore Maple Acer Pseudoplatanus
John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org Sycamore Maple (Acer Pseudoplatanus)

Like many other maple trees, the Sycamore maple tree grows quite tall – up to 115-feet, in fact. Because of its beauty, it is commonly planted along streets and in public areas, and the wood is used for everything from wood flooring to kitchen utensils, among others.

40. Hybrid Maple (acer truncatum x platanoides)

Acer truncatum X A platanoides
Hybrid Maple (Acer truncatum X A platanoides)

A gorgeous tree that is often found lining public streets, the Hybrid or Taggert Sunset maple grows moderately fast and has leaves that turn yellow, red, and orange in the fall. Before that, the leaves are glossy and dark-green in color, and like many other maples, it is tolerant of most soil types.

41. Tatarian Maple (acer tataricum)

Tatarian Maple Acer tataricum
wikimedia | Ronja Koistinen Tatarian Maple (Acer tataricum)

One of the things that makes the Tatarian Maple tree unique is its small size, because it never gets more than around 39 feet in height. The trunk is usually 8-20 inches in diameter, and it is a very slender tree with narrow branches, giving it a rather elegant and sophisticated look. The leaves of this tree have either three or five lobes, and they are four inches long and three inches wide. They are also a matte green color.

42. Vine Maple (acer circinatum)

Vine Maple leaves and flowers
wikimedia | Tony Perodeau Vine Maple leaves and flowers

Although usually grown as a shrub that only gets to around 25 feet in height or shorter, it can also be grown as a tree that gets to nearly 60 feet high. As long as you plant it above sea level and in elevations no more than 4900 feet, it will grow well and remain healthy. The ability to survive in high altitudes means it is a great tree to own if you live in certain mountainous areas.

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