Maple Trees in Washington State: A Comprehensive Guide


Maple trees, including species like Bigleaf Maple, Vine Maple, and Coral Bark Japanese Maple, are favored by gardeners in Washington State due to their adaptability to the local conditions, though the Bigleaf Maple is facing challenges from hotter and drier summers impacting its health.

Maple trees are a popular choice for gardeners in Washington State.

With over 150 species of maple trees worldwide, Washington State has several species of maple trees that thrive in its soil.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of maple trees that can be grown in Washington State.

Bigleaf Maple (Acer Macrophyllum)

The Bigleaf Maple is a deciduous tree that is native to California, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.

It is a medium to tall-sized tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall, although the average height is between 40 to 75 feet.

The Bigleaf Maple is particularly significant in Washington State, as it has massive leaves, up to 1.5 feet across, and is native to the wet westside forests of the Pacific Northwest.

However, recent studies have shown that Bigleaf Maple trees in Washington are experiencing decline due to hotter and drier summers, which weaken the tree’s immune system and make it more susceptible to stressors and diseases.

Vine Maple (Acer Circinatum)

Vine Maple is a small-sized, multi-stemmed, shrubby specimen that can also grow into a stately, medium to tall-sized tree.

It grows clusters of greenish-white blooms with deep red sepals and deep red, winged samaras.

Vine Maple is adaptable and can be grown in city gardens, similar to Douglas Maple.

Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum)

Sugar Maple is a species of maple that is known for its vibrant fall foliage colors.

It is not as common in Washington State as the other species mentioned.

Sugar Maple is native to Canada and the US and is a popular choice for gardeners in the eastern US.

Rocky Mountain Maple (Acer Glabrum)

Rocky Mountain Maple is a small tree or large shrub that is native to western North America.

It has green leaves that turn yellow or red in the fall.

Rocky Mountain Maple is a great choice for gardeners who want a smaller tree or shrub.

Red Maple (Acer Rubrum)

Red Maple is a deciduous tree that is native to eastern North America.

It is known for its brilliant red fall foliage and is a popular choice for gardeners in the eastern US.

Red Maple is not as common in Washington State as the other species mentioned.

Coral Bark Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’)

Coral Bark Japanese Maple is a small tree that is native to Japan. It is known for its striking coral-red bark, which is most prominent in the winter months.

Coral Bark Japanese Maple is a great choice for gardeners who want a smaller tree with a unique feature.

When choosing a maple tree to grow in Washington State, consider the specific climate and location of your garden, as well as the tree’s water and soil requirements.

It’s important to note that the Bigleaf Maple is experiencing decline due to hotter and drier summers, which weaken the tree’s immune system and make it more susceptible to stressors and diseases.

Make sure to fulfill the watering and soil requirements of your chosen maple tree to facilitate its beautiful growth.

Sources:

[1] https://www.progardentips.com/maple-trees-in-washington-state/

[2] https://treevitalize.com/maple-trees-in-washington-state/

[3] https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/maples

[4] https://www.thespruce.com/thirteen-species-of-maple-trees-3269671

[5] http://nativeplantspnw.com/big-leaf-maple-acer-macrophyllum/

[6] https://www.washington.edu/news/2021/09/30/bigleaf-maple-decline-tied-to-hotter-drier-summers-in-washington/

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