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)

The Ashleaf maple is also called the Box elder maple, and it grows fast, but is short-lived. 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)

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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)

Also known as the Red Emperor maple or the Palmate maple, the Japanese maple tree can get as high as 52-feet, and the shrubs are normally 20 to 33 feet in height. It’s possible for it to have many trunks that join close to the ground, and it has large leaves that are five-inches wide and long, with five, seven, or nine pointed lobes.

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

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.

13. Silver Maple (acer saccharinum)

Silver Maple acer saccharinum
Darkone 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 watery areas such as waterways and wetlands.

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)

The Chalk maple tree is native to the southeastern part of the United States, and it is smaller than many other types of maples, getting only to around 30-feet tall at the most. The reason it is named the Chalk maple is because of its bark, which turns light-gray or chalky white once it matures.

16. Commemoration Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)

Acer saccharum ‘Commemoration’
Acer saccharum ‘Commemoration’

This tree is a cultivar of the Sugar maple tree and is characterized by its fast growth and its beautiful, dark-green leaves that have a leathery texture. In the fall, this tree’s leaves are pumpkin-orange in color and can bloom a full two weeks before other Sugar maples do. They get to roughly 55-feet in height and have a trunk that is 35-feet in diameter. 

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

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.

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 gets up to over 40-feet in height. It is common throughout the Midwest and the southeastern part of the United States, and it is especially common in wetlands and other areas that get a lot of rain. Its leaves are a little different from other Red maples because they are white and have a felt-like feel on the back side of the leaves. 

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)

This Florida maple gets to around 49 to 82 feet in height, which is considered medium- to large-sized for a maple tree. It has light-gray bark, shiny reddish-brown twigs, and leaves that are green with a pale-colored underside. The tree is found 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)

Also called the Autumn Blaze 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 Freeman maple tree is known for its bright-red leaves in the fall and its tall, slender trunk.

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

Growing from 10- to 25-feet tall, the Green Mountain maple is also known as a moose or dwarf maple. It is smaller than a lot of other maple trees and does well in higher elevations. The tree has a short trunk and branches that are very slender, and the 2.5- to 4-inch leaves 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

The Moosewood, or Striped maple tree is rather small compared to other maples, growing to roughly 30-feet in height. The bark starts out in green-and-white stripes but gets to a brown color when the tree matures. The leaves are three to six inches long and have three lobes. The trees bloom in the spring time and like other maples, they make a great shade tree.

30. Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)

mountain maple leaf (acer glabrum)
mountain maple leaf

The Mountain maple tree (acer glabrum) can also be called a Rock or Dwarf maple. The leaves have three to five lobes and turn yellow in the fall. Hardy to USDA growing zone 4, this tree has a total of six subspecies and has yellowish-green flowers in the spring. It is often found in moist spots such as alongside streams, and it is very easy to grow.

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

October Glory Red Maple
Arbor Day Foundation October Glory Red Maple

The October Glory cultivar of the red maple is a very fast growing type, and it is a great shade tree in any garden in the United States. 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.

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)

The Rocky Mountain maple is native to the western part of the United States and usually gets to around 30-feet high. The tree has a trunk that is roughly 8 to 11 inches in diameter, and the leaves are four-inches long and have three lobes. In addition, there are four to six varieties of Rocky Mountain maple, and this includes the Green, Torrey, and Douglas maple trees.

35. Scarlett Maple (acer rubrum)

Scarlett Maple acer rubrum leaf
Scarlett Maple leaf

The Scarlett maple is a cultivar of the Red maple tree and has leaves that look similar to the leaves on a Silver maple, which means they have five lobes. This is another type of maple tree that grows very fast, and the leaves are yellow-orange to orange-red in color during the fall months.

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)

Native to many states in the south, this maple tree grows moderately fast and can get up to 40-feet tall and 25-feet wide. Because you can grow it in a lot of different soils, it is considered easy to grow. In the fall, the leaves go from yellow-orange to scarlet. 

38. Striped Maple (acer pensylvanicum)

The Striped maple tree is rather small compared to other maples, growing to roughly 30-feet in height. The bark starts out in green-and-white stripes but gets to a brown color when the tree matures. The leaves are three to six inches long and have three lobes. The trees bloom in the spring time and like other maples, they make a great shade tree.

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)

The Tatarian maple is found as either a shrub or a small tree that gets to no more than 39-feet in height. It is a slender tree with narrow branches and a trunk that is usually 8 to 20 inches in diameter. The three- or five-lobed leaves are a matte green color and are usually around four-inches long and three-inches wide.

42. Vine Maple (acer circinatum)

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

Most often, the Vine maple tree is grown as a shrub and therefore, it gets to roughly 25-feet in height, sometimes shorter. If grown as a tree, it can get up to nearly 60-feet high, and it grows well when planted right above sea level up to roughly 4,900-feet, so it is even able to do well in certain mountainous areas.

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