5 Main Types of Maple Trees in Tennessee


Tennessee is home to hundreds of tree types, and some of these trees live nowhere else on the planet. The most popular types of trees in Tennessee include pine, spruce, fir, hemlocks, and of course, maples, there are five different types in Tennessee.

The maple tree is known for two things: its gorgeous foliage in the fall and its ability to make the perfect shade tree. Maples are found not just in people’s yards, but in public areas such as parks, gardens, and other outdoor areas. 

The state tree of Tennessee is the Tulip tree, and when it comes to maples, they grow quite well thanks to the climate and different soils. Other specific common trees found in the state include the sycamore, black cherry, hackberry, American beech, pawpaw, false indigo, and the sourwood, all of which are less common than trees such as maple and pine.

When you’re researching maples in Tennessee, you can get the assistance you need to find out what you need to know, and if you’d like a starting point, the following is beneficial.

1. Box Elder Maple (acer negundo)

Also called the ash-leaved maple, this tree is short-lived but grows very fast. It grows to roughly 35 to 80 feet in height and lives 60 to 100 years, which is considered a short time when compared to many other trees.

Native Americans have used the box elder maple for numerous purposes, including burning the wood for incense and as candy when the sap is mixed with certain animal hides.

In addition to these uses, the wood from this plant is used for fiberboard and even pens, bowls, and stemware, among other things. It is a relatively soft wood that is close-grained and light in color, so it is not able to be used for certain things that other types of harder wood can be used for.

2. Red Maple (acer rubrum)


The red maple is also called the soft maple, and it is the most abundant native tree in the eastern part of the United States.

When the tree is fully grown, it can be as high as 100 feet, and its leaves come in many different forms. In addition, the red maple is a very adaptable tree, able to adjust to many different soils and site conditions.

Because of its massive root system, the red maple does very well in urban areas, and its uses include furniture, musical instruments, and the veneer industry, as well as for the production of maple syrup.

3. Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)

Also called the rock maple, the sugar maple is known for two significant achievements: it is the main tree used to produce maple syrup, and its leaves are always some of the brightest during the fall season. They can grow to 115-feet tall, although some have grown to nearly 150-feet, making this an extraordinary-looking tree indeed.

Its eight-inch-long leaves have five lobes and the fall colors can range from yellow to orange to bright orange-red. The sugar maple tree is commonly planted in public and urban areas since it is easy to grow, attractive, and is large enough to grow successfully in parks and other big areas.

4. Silver Maple (acer saccharinum)

Also called the silverleaf, water, or swamp maple, this tree is found mostly in the eastern and central parts of the United States and the southeastern part of Canada.

It is a deciduous tree that grows fairly fast and usually gets from 36- to 49-feet high. You can find them near water areas such as waterways and wetlands, which is the reason they are often called the water maple.

The Silver maple has simple leaves with five lobes, and in the fall, it tends to shed its leaves a little earlier than other maple trees. Uses include lumber, pulp to make paper, and even crates and tool handles.

5. Autumn Blaze Maple (acer freemanii)

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

Also called the Freeman maple, this tree has many cultivars, which include the Morgan, Firefall, Jeffersred, Sienna Glen, and the Armstrong, among others. In addition, like other maple trees, the Autumn Blaze maple tree is known for its bright-red leaves in the fall and its tall, slender trunk.

This is also a very neat and even-looking tree, making it perfect to line your landscape with it or show it off in municipal and public gardens and other outdoor areas.