7 Most Common Maple Trees in Michigan


Michigan is home to several species of maple trees, including the sugar maple, boxelder maple, red maple, silver maple, Norway maple, Japanese maple, and Amur maple. While some are native to Michigan, others are commonly planted as shade or ornamental trees.

Sugar Maple

The sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is a native tree species in Michigan. It is known for its iconic 5-lobed leaves that turn vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow in the fall.

Sugar maples can grow to be quite large, reaching heights of 60-100 feet and having a trunk diameter of 24-48 inches.

They are often planted as shade trees and are prized for their beautiful fall foliage.

Boxelder Maple

The boxelder maple (Acer negundo) is another native maple tree found in Michigan. It is commonly found in wet areas along streams, lakes, and rivers.

Boxelder maples are medium-sized trees with compound leaves that have three to five leaflets.

While they may not have the same aesthetic appeal as other maple species, they play an important role in Michigan’s ecosystem.

Red Maple

The red maple (Acer rubrum) is a native tree species that is widely distributed throughout Michigan. It is known for its brilliant red fall foliage, making it a popular choice for landscaping.

Red maples can adapt to a variety of soil types and are often found in wetlands and along riverbanks.

They can grow to be 40-60 feet tall and have a spread of 25-45 feet.

Silver Maple

The silver maple (Acer saccharinum) is not native to Michigan but is commonly planted as a shade tree. It has distinctive silver-gray bark and produces winged fruits called samaras.

Silver maples can grow rapidly and reach heights of 50-80 feet.

They are often found near bodies of water, as they have a high tolerance for wet soils.

Norway Maple

The Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is not native to Michigan but is frequently planted as a street tree. It has dark green leaves with five to seven lobes and produces winged fruits called samaras.

Norway maples are known for their tolerance to urban conditions and can grow to be 40-50 feet tall.

However, they are considered invasive in some areas and can outcompete native species.

Japanese Maple

The Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is not native to Michigan but is a popular ornamental tree. It is known for its delicate, lacy leaves that come in a variety of colors, including red, green, and variegated.

Japanese maples are smaller in size compared to other maple species, typically reaching heights of 10-25 feet.

They are often used in gardens and landscapes for their aesthetic appeal.

Amur Maple

The Amur maple (Acer ginnala) is not native to Michigan but is commonly planted as a small ornamental tree. It has green leaves that turn bright red in the fall and produces winged fruits called samaras.

Amur maples are known for their adaptability to a wide range of soil conditions and can grow to be 15-20 feet tall.

They are often used as accent trees in gardens and landscapes.

Sources:

[1] https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/going_native_with_michigan_trees

[2] https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/education/michigan-species/plants-trees/sugarmaple

[3] https://campus.albion.edu/stowell-arboretum/sugar-maple/

[4] https://www.progardentips.com/maple-trees-in-michigan/

[5] https://www.clickondetroit.com/all-about-michigan/2019/07/22/how-to-identify-the-most-common-trees-in-michigan/

[6] https://ppmtree.com/2020/06/08/best-maple-trees/

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