4 Main Types of Maple Trees in Wisconsin


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If you live in Wisconsin and you’re curious about the best trees to plant in your yard, the good news is that you have a lot of options available. Of all the trees in this beautiful state, the most common is a maple tree – the sugar maple, or acer saccharum, to be exact, which is also one of the most important and largest hardwood trees in the entire country.

In addition to maples, Wisconsin is home to a lot of other trees, especially the Linden, musclewood, Swamp white oak, European beech, Concolor fir, and the Serviceberry, among others.

Thanks to the gorgeous colors of their leaves, the maple trees are quite prominent in Wisconsin landscapes throughout the fall months, and the leaves can be yellow, orange, and even reddish-orange in color.

Maple trees in Wisconsin include four different types, described below. If you’re trying to determine which type you wish to plant in your yard or public park, this information should help you decide. You can also explore various online resources if you need additional details on any of the trees.

1. Black Maple (acer nigrum)

The black maple is similar to the sugar maple, with the difference being that the black maple has leaves with three lobes, while the sugar maple has five-lobed leaves. Black maples grow as tall as 70 to 110 feet high and are used mostly as timber for landscaping purposes and for maple syrup.

In fact, there are quite a few foods that are made out of the maple syrup from black maple trees, including maple butter, maple taffy or toffee, certain beers and liqueurs, maple leaf cream cookies, and many others.

The Black maple is commonly found in the states of Michigan and Massachusetts as well.

2. 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.

The Norway maple wood is a hard wood that is usually yellowish-white to pale-red in color, and it can be used to make flooring, musical instruments, and even furniture. It is not usually used for maple syrup due to the low sugar content in the sap.

3. Red Maple (acer rubrum)

Red maple trees are very abundant native trees in the eastern part of the country. It is a very adaptable type of tree because it does well in most soils and site conditions, and it grows up to around 100 feet in height.

It has a massive root system and is therefore often planted in urban areas, which are spacious, and naturally, it is used in the production of maple syrup. The wood is also used to make veneer, musical instruments, and even furniture, among others.

4. Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)

Not surprisingly, the sugar maple tree is the most common tree used when making maple syrup, thanks to its taste and texture. Also called the rock maple, it also has some of the most beautiful leaves during the fall season. It grows to roughly 115 feet in height, but it sometimes will get as tall as 150 feet.

Eight-inch leaves with five lobes usually outshine the leaves of other trees in the fall, and their colors include yellow, orange, and bright orange-red. Their are often found in spacious settings such as urban and public areas, and this large, eye-catching tree is also very simple to grow. 

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