How Old Can A Maple Tree Live Lush & Bright?

How to care for a maple tree

Are you a landscaping enthusiast? You have several options to include color and vibrancy in your yards. However, none of it even comes as close as the fall foliage depicted by the prettiest Maple trees.


With captivating display of fall colors in yellow, gold, and red, and extended maple tree lifespan, maples are a spectacular addition to any landscape. Belonging to the Acer genus from the Sapindaceae family, you can find Maples in all shapes and sizes.


Native to Asia, some varieties originate in North America, northern Africa, and Europe. Typically, all Maple varieties are deciduous, but some native to the Mediterranean region are evergreen. They are also very versatile. You can use the Maple wood smoke to flavor the bacon, and the sap can sweeten your pancakes.


Jump To


They are excellent shade plants. Hence, they are a respite from the summer heat. Maple trees have been around for hundreds of years and have been admired for their beauty, shelter, and food.


But, the question is, how long does a maple tree live and what is the average healthy maple tree lifespan? This guide will discuss the average maple tree life expectancy. So, let us get started and look at this one of the most frequently-discussed questions.


What Is The Rate Of Maple Growth Per Year?

Before we  tell you how long do maples live, we need to find out the growth rate of Maples in a year.

It is important to understand about their growth rate because the tree’s mature age is dependent on how fast the maple grows.


Well, the Maple tree growth is different for different species. So, different kinds of Maples will have a variable maturity rate. Popular Maple trees like the Japanese Maple, Red Maple, and Sugar Maple have a high growth rate. They also grow very tall.


Typically, some Maple trees are fast growers. They take only 10 to 15 years to reach their full size. On the contrary, some Maples are slow growers and take two to three decades to attain full length.


Red Maples have a moderate growth rate and speed. They can grow about 12 to 19 inches per year. But, when it comes to full size, you may have to wait a while as the plant takes twenty-five years before it curtails its growth.


Some of the fastest growers, like the Silver, Bigleaf, and the Sugar Maple, grow 24 inches a year. At the same time, they acquire a height of 75 feet. They also have a wide spread of 50 feet.


Ideally, the kind of growth a plant shows depends on environmental factors and the kinds of care you give to your maples.



How Long Do Maples Live – Average Maple Tree Lifespan?

The variety and type of Maple decide the Maple tree’s average life. But, in general terms, how old can a maple tree live? The average lifespan of maple is between 80 to 100 years. But, what defines how long does a maple tree live? It primarily depends on its type.


For instance,

  1. The Silver Maple trees live somewhere between 100 to 125 years.
  2. The Red Maple tree’s life expectancy is at least 130 years. Some Red Maples have lived for three centuries. Yes, you read it right. That’s how long do they live.
  3. Another popular variety is the Sugar Maples. They live for about 200 to 400 years.


It is important to note that even though most maples live for a hundred years, natural causes and humans may shorten their lifespan.


Hopefully, now you know how long do Maples live. Be assured, regardless of the type, Maples are an excellent, long-living addition to your garden or yard. Having said that, let us discuss the lifespan of some of the top maple species.


How Long Do Japanese Maples Live?

There are over one thousand cultivators and varieties in Japanese Maples. Each of the sub-type will have a different maple tree life expectancy.


The Japanese Maples grow about a foot or two in a year, making them the tallest Maple you can afford.


But, how long does a Maple tree live from this species?


The Japanese Maple can live for more than 100 years if exposed to the right conditions. But, this Maple tree’s lifespan primarily depends on care and treatment. Even though the plant can tolerate both shade and hot temperature, full sun can stunt its growth and kill the plant.


In addition, its life may also be cut short by poor quality soil, standing water, diseases, improper planting, drought, and bad pruning. So, if you want the plant to live its complete life, you should give them good compost, feed, and regular water and plant them in a spot with good drainage and partial shade.


At the same time, you also need to shield the plan against verticillium wilt, a prevalent soil-based disease.


How Long Do Silver Maples Live?

Botanically known as the Acer Saccharinum, the Silver Maple grows best in mid-southern and temperate northern climates of Canada and the US. Native to Eastern North America, these are decently tall at 50 to 80 feet with a 35-50 feet spread. Silver Maples have a green top and a silvery-white appearance underneath.


Typically, if you ask how old can a maple tree live that belongs to the silver maple variety, we’d say that look at its annual growth. It  grows three to seven feet annually. Hence, it takes about six to thirteen years for a silver Maple to establish, whereas usually, most trees take longer to attain maturity. Thus, they are sturdier and denser than Silver Maples.


Depending on the environment, the average silver maple tree’s lifespan is between 100 and 125 years, but they can also live over 130 years. However, in the urban settings, this maple tree’s life expectancy is less, and the plant lives only between 35 to 65 years. In addition, the tree is fragile.


It is also vulnerable to many pests and diseases that further reduce its life. If you want your Silver Maples to live long, ensure it receives good air and no root or limb shock. Further, guard the trees against pests and diseases.


How Long Do Sugar Maple Trees Live?

It is one of the most loved species in Canada, but unfortunately, there has been a decline in Sugar Maple’s prevalence. While the initial Sugar Maple tree’s lifespan was about 300 years, today, the plant is dying at 80 to 100 years, sometimes even lesser.


Moreover, if planted in an urban setting, the life expectancy is even lower because of the soil compaction, lack of water, pollutants, less biodiversity, and heat from buildings and hardscapes.


Unfortunately, scientists do not understand whether this drop is natural. However, the plant has seen a continuous decline in the three periods in the last century. Both natural and human-made factors contribute to this falling lifespan.


How Long Do Red Maple Trees Live?

When we compare the tree standards, the Red Maple tree’s lifespan is sadly not very long. This maple tree’s life expectancy is around 100 years. But, if it gets exposed to the right living conditions and protected from getting knocked over or cut by humans, it can survive 130 to 300 years. However, this is rare.


The oldest ones usually live for two centuries. Fortunately, they are quick at producing seeds, and you will see them when the plant is only four. Also, factors like drought, disease, and pests can cut short the Red Maple lifespan in an urban setting.


But, they are hardy trees and not very selective in their soil preference. Hence, a beautiful, low-maintenance addition to the yards and gardens.


How Long Do Autumn Blaze Maples Live?

A hybrid of the Silver and the Red Maple, Autumn Blaze is a beautiful species that has been extremely popular in the residential and commercial settings for the last two decades, majorly because of their beautiful fall color and rapid growth rate.


Unfortunately, Autumn Blaze is a soft Maple. If you ask us how long does a maple tree live belonging to this variety, we’d ask you to be cautious. If the plant if exposed to wind and snow for prolonged periods it can severely damage it beyond repair.


The average Autumn Blaze maple tree lifespan is six decades. But, for the plant to survive sixty years, you must expose it to the right growing conditions and shield it from uprooting and damage.


It is a structurally weak plant. Hence, Autumn Blaze is susceptible to cracks at the branch unions. It might result in property harm and broken branches. You must expose it to good care if you do not want your plant to die from such damage.


You need to prune Autumn Blaze every three to five years because it is a fast-growing plant. So, if you need to maintain its visual appeal, trimming is necessary. It thrives in USDA hardiness three through eight.


Now that you know how old can a maple tree live, let us have a quick Q&A session to clear any doubts that you may have.
Related: Laceleaf Japanese Maple Types|Pruning Maples in Winter


Ques 1. How old is the oldest maple tree?

Ans. The Grand Old Wishing Maple Tree’s lifespan spread across 731 years making it one of the oldest Maple trees that ever lived.
At present the oldest living maple is 330 years old growing in Mark. S. Burnham Provincial Park in Ontario.


Ques 2. Where Do Maple Trees Live?

Ans. Maples are versatile, and you can find them across America. In addition, their dominance is also high in Northern Africa, Asia, and Europe. Maples enjoy a moderate, cooler climate and grow in clusters. The world has more than one hundred and twenty-five different Maple species.


Ques 3. How long do Maple trees take to grow and mature?

Ans. As there are different Maple Tree species, each takes a different duration to attain maturity. While some are fast growers and become fully established in ten to fifteen years, others are slow growers and take two to three decades to reach their full size. To generalize how long do maples live to mature, we can say that maples mature around 20-25 years.


Ques 4. Can a dying maple tree be saved?

Ans. Unfortunately, you cannot save the Maple tree if the roots are dead. But, if the damage is on the salvageable areas, the maple tree can regrow its leaves and branches. If you do not know what to do to save the plant, you can seek assistance from a professional.


Ques 5. How can you tell the age of a maple tree?

Ans. Understanding how long does a maple tree live and what is its age is done by measuring the girth of the tree. Typically, a tree increases its girth by 2.5 cm per year. Hence, by measuring around the tree’s trunk one meter from the ground, it is easy to tell the plant’s age.


However, while measuring, please be cautious, and measure to the nearest centimeter. Lastly, divide the girth by 2.5. It will give you an estimate of the age in years.


Ques 6. What is hard maple tree’s life expectancy?

Ans. The Hard Maple Tree’s lifespan is of around two to four centuries. They are hard and durable.

Ques 7. How tall is a 10-year-old maple tree?

Ans. On average, the maple trees could be 20 feet tall in 10 years of time.

With everything we have learned about how long do maples live, to sum up, we can say that different varieties of maple have different life expectancies. But, all in all, maples live for 50+ years with optimum condition and care.