Maple Trees in Utah: A Guide to the Four Species


There are four species of maple trees in Utah, including the Norway Maple, Canyon Maple, Box Elder Maple, and Rocky Mountain Maple, each with unique characteristics that make them well-suited to different environments.

Norway Maple

The Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) is a large and stately shade tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet.

It is known for its dense, rounded crown and attractive foliage.

The leaves of the Norway Maple are palmate with five lobes and have a dark green color.

In the fall, they turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red, adding a burst of color to the landscape.

This maple tree is a popular choice for urban areas and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

Here are some key features of the Norway Maple:

  • Size: Can reach heights of up to 50 feet.
  • Leaf color: Dark green in summer, turning yellow, orange, and red in the fall.
  • Leaf shape: Palmate with five lobes.
  • Soil tolerance: Can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

Canyon Maple

The Canyon Maple (Acer grandidentatum) is a native maple tree to Utah and is well-suited to the region’s climate and soil conditions.

It is a smaller tree, typically reaching heights of 20 to 30 feet.

The Canyon Maple has a rounded crown and its leaves are palmate with three to five lobes.

In the fall, the leaves turn shades of yellow, orange, and red.

This maple tree is a great choice for smaller landscapes or areas with limited space.

Here are some key features of the Canyon Maple:

  • Size: Typically reaches heights of 20 to 30 feet.
  • Leaf color: Yellow, orange, and red in the fall.
  • Leaf shape: Palmate with three to five lobes.
  • Soil tolerance: Well-suited to Utah’s climate and soil conditions.

Box Elder Maple

The Box Elder Maple (Acer negundo) is a fast-growing maple tree that can reach heights of up to 50 feet.

It has a spreading, open crown and its leaves are compound with three to seven leaflets.

The leaves are light green in color and turn yellow in the fall.

The Box Elder Maple is known for its tolerance to a wide range of soil conditions, including poor and alkaline soils.

It is a great choice for areas where rapid growth is desired.

Here are some key features of the Box Elder Maple:

  • Size: Can reach heights of up to 50 feet.
  • Leaf color: Light green in summer, turning yellow in the fall.
  • Leaf shape: Compound with three to seven leaflets.
  • Soil tolerance: Tolerant to a wide range of soil conditions, including poor and alkaline soils.

Rocky Mountain Maple

The Rocky Mountain Maple (Acer glabrum) is a native maple tree to Utah and is well-adapted to the region’s climate and soil conditions.

It is a small to medium-sized tree, typically reaching heights of 15 to 30 feet.

The Rocky Mountain Maple has a rounded crown and its leaves are palmate with three to five lobes.

In the fall, the leaves turn shades of yellow, orange, and red.

This maple tree is a great choice for naturalized landscapes or areas with rocky or poor soils.

Here are some key features of the Rocky Mountain Maple:

  • Size: Typically reaches heights of 15 to 30 feet.
  • Leaf color: Yellow, orange, and red in the fall.
  • Leaf shape: Palmate with three to five lobes.
  • Soil tolerance: Well-adapted to Utah’s climate and soil conditions.

Do maple trees grow well in Utah?

Maple trees can grow well in Utah, but it is important to choose the right species and care for them properly.

Are there sugar maple trees in Utah?

Yes, there are sugar maple trees in Utah, but they are not native to the region and are not commonly planted. The sugar maple is a lovely tree that is most useful among native maple trees in Utah and is typically found throughout the northeastern United States. However, it can do well in Utah if planted and cared for properly.

Can red maple grow in Utah?

Yes, red maple can grow in Utah, as it is adaptable to different soil types and can tolerate drought and alkaline soil.

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