How Many Maple Tree Species You Know From These?

Types of maple trees

Ever been awestruck by those crimson-gold maple leaves? Well, you are not alone if you adore them. Different types of maple trees have distinctly shaped leaves that transform into spectacular colors during autumn. They are commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere and donate vastly to the ecology of the world.


The uses of maple trees are manifold and not limited to just the maple syrup. They produce Maple Syrup, lumber, firewood, furniture and also bear a lot of significance to Canada.


In this article, we will tell you about all types of maple trees that are popular worldwide for their unique characteristic features.


Jump To


Different Kinds of Maple Trees

The various different types of maple trees are:


1. Red Maple


Common Name Red Maple, Swamp Maple, Water Maple, Soft Maple.
Scientific Name Acer Rubrum
Average Height 15 meters
Average age 80 to 100 years
Color Blazing Red leaves
Native to Eastern and North-Central U.S.


This category of maple tree grows primarily in the Central-North and Eastern U.S. regions. These trees usually have bright red leaves that mostly turn orange or yellow during the fall season.


Like plenty of other maple trees, these trees also thrive in cooler temperatures but can also survive in moderately tropical conditions. They prefer direct sunlight or partial shade.


They are the perfect kind of plants to include in your yards or gardens where height clearance isn’t a factor because these trees usually grow tall.


Sandy to a moist clayey type of soil is best suited to this plant. These, different types of maple trees have brilliant red foliage and short canopy which makes them the perfect plant for garden owners who want to add a bright tinge of crimson to their yards.


2. Sugar Maple Tree Varieties


Common Name Sugar Maple, Hard Maple, Rock Maple
Scientific Name Acer Saccharum
Season Hardwood Deciduous tree
Average Height 80 to 120 feet
Average age 300 to 400 years
Color Dark Green
Native to Eastern Canada, North and Eastern U.S.A.


As the name suggests, sugar maple trees are the source of the world-famous sugary and sweet maple syrup. It is the most common maple tree species among all types of maple trees.


Since it is a hardwood tree, it is also widely used in furniture making. These trees have three to five-lobed leaves that appear precisely during spring from the greenish-yellow colored flowers. These trees are grown for the industrial purposes of lumbering and producing maple syrup.


3. Silver Maple


Common Names Silver Maple, Creek Maple, Soft Maple, White Maple.
Scientific Name Acer Saccharinum
Average Height 70 to 100 feet
Average age 120 years
Color Dark Green
Native to Eastern and Central U.S.A and Southeastern Canada.


Among the different species of maple trees, this particular kind of Maple tree derives its name from the silvery underside of its leaves. It grows rapidly and takes a magnificent form once it is fully grown.


This makes it one of the most popular ornamental landscape plants from different kinds of maple trees which are also prone to urban conditions. It is dark green in color and can grow on poor soil and wet weather conditions.


The location where a silver maple tree is planted should receive proper sunlight. The wood from the Silver Maple can be used for making paper and firewood. This plant like other different types of maple trees also produces light sugar syrup which is used in the syrup industry for making maple syrup.


4. Big Leaf Maple


Common Name Big Leaf Maple, Oregon Maple
Scientific Name Acer Macrophyllum
Average Height 80 to 100 feet
Average age 300 years
Color Light Green
Native to Pacific Northwest


The Bigleaf maple is native to the Pacific Northwest. The distinctive feature of the Bigleaf maple which distinguishes it from different varieties of maple trees is its unusually large, 5 lobed leaves that dangle from its branches.


These leaves can also be boiled to extract the sweet maple syrup. These trees can also be used as ornamental trees as they form a beautiful canopy when they mature. These plants usually grow up to about 100 meters and are the tallest kind of Maple tree present in North America.


The lumber obtained from the Bigleaf Maple is used to make musical instruments and certain kinds of furniture as well. These plants prefer loamy soil and require abundant moisture to thrive.


5. Amur Maple


Common Name Amur Maple, Siberian Maple
Scientific Name Acer Ginalla
Average Height 15 to 30 feet
Average age 300 years
Color Light green to Blazing red
Native to Asia


The Amur Maple tree is a different species of maple trees that is primarily found in the south-Asian countries of Japan, China and Korea. These plants do not grow to great heights and therefore are well-suited to be residential plants and boulevard trees.


Much like a few other maple trees that have vibrant shades, the Amur Maple is especially valued for the burst of color it adds to the yards. The tree changes color during autumn and usually turns into a mix of bright crimson and yellow.


It is also well suited to urban conditions and requires bright sunlight or partial shade to grow.


6. Japanese Maple


Common Name Japanese Maple, Palmate Maple.
Scientific Name Acer Palmatum
Average Height 10 to 12 feet
Average age 300 years
Color Pink, Purple and Red
Native to Japan, China, Korea, eastern Mongolia and southeast Russia.


These are the smallest Maple trees among all types of maple trees. They are widely used as residential trees in Japan, China and Korea for decorating the yards. These trees bloom to a perfect pinkish-red color which gives them a unique and enchanting look.
If located in an area with cold winters, the change of colors of the leaves during fall will add color and charm to any garden. These are suitable to be grown in sub-tropical and temperate regions which have a moist or well-drained type of soil.
In warmer climates, these trees need to be planted in semi-shade areas or under shade nets. These plants can tolerate a temperature up to 25 degrees Celsius, beyond which the leaves start to shrivel and fall off.

7. Norway Maple


Common Name Norway Maple
Scientific Name Acer Platanoides
Average Height 40 to 70 feet
Average age 150 years
Color Green to yellowish
Native to Eastern and central Europe, western Asia, Spain, Russia, southeast to northern Iran and Scandinavia.


The Norway maple is an elegant, dense, round-headed tree that produces stunning greenish-yellow flower clusters in early spring. Many cultivated varieties of this plant are available with atypical leaf colors (red, maroon, bronze, or purple) and growth forms (columnar, globular, or pyramidal).


These are different species of maple trees that has been categorized as an invasive plant because it grows and spreads rapidly hampering other types of plants and vegetations. It is used as a decorative plant in North American gardens and yards. It requires direct sunlight or partial shade for healthy growth


8. Paperbark Maple


Common Name Paperbark Maple, Blood Bark Maple
Scientific Name Acer Griseum
Average Height 20 to 30 feet
Average age 40 to 150 years
Color Soft green to scarlet/yellowish.
Native to China


The Paperbark maple tree is found in specific Chinese provinces like Gansu, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan and so on. It is a compact deciduous tree that has an oval or almost round canopy.


Among the different kinds of maples, each with its own unique features, the distinguishing characteristic feature of this type of Maple tree is that with age and maturity, the tree trunk sheds its papery bark and reveals a fresh cinnamon-brown new bark.


These different types of maple are perfect as a landscape tree or an ornamental tree because it provides spectacular foliage that is sure to attract the attention of onlookers. The Paperbark Maple tree cannot grow in extremely cold conditions.


It requires to be watered regularly and planted in a region that receives moderate to ample sunlight.


9. Hornbeam Maple


Common Name Hornbeam Maple
Scientific Name Acer Carpinifolium
Average Height 30 to 50 feet
Average age 100 years
Color Green to yellowish
Native to Japan


The Hornbeam maple, like all maple tree species, is a deciduous tree that is native to some of the islands in Japan. Unlike most other varieties of Maple trees, the leaves of the Hornbeam Maple are unlobed, oblong-shaped and have fine veins running across the entire length of the leaves.
The tree has multiple trunk stems and leaves that are light green in color during the spring and yellowish during autumn. This kind of Maple tree is primarily used in nurseries for botanical studies to demonstrate the difference between the various kinds of Maple leaves. It requires full or partial sunlight and moist, well-drained soil to grow.


10. Hedge Maple


Common Name Hedge Maple, Field Maple
Scientific Name Acer Campestre
Average Height 25 to 35 feet
Average age 80 to 100 years
Color Green to yellowish
Native to Europe and Western Asia


This maple tree species require a considerable amount of pruning and therefore it is called Hedge Maple. The canopy spreads majestically and it is therefore used as a shade tree in the sidewalks and parks.

You might also like to know about pruning maples in winter.

It is best suited for sidewalks in urban areas because it can tolerate a considerable amount of pollution, salt, alkalinity, and dry compacted soils. The color changes from green to yellowish during the fall season. The roots of this plant are shallow, and it spreads extremely fast while growing slowly.


11. Boxelder Maple


Common Name Boxelder Maple, Manitoba Maple, Ash-leaved Maple.
Scientific Name Acer Negundo
Average Height 40 to 60 feet
Average age 50 to 75 years
Color Green to yellowish/Scarlet
Native to North America


The Boxelder maple is one of the different types of maples that are rapid growing. This somewhat invasive variety of the Maple Tree do not live long. The trunk of the tree is usually brittle and can be used for making paper, charcoal and sometimes furniture.


Maple and sugar syrup can also be obtained from the leaves of the Boxelder Maple. The nutritional Boxelder plant can be used to make medicinal drugs that cure respiratory illnesses, kidney infections, paralysis and swelling.


Like most different species of maple trees, the Boxelder prefers fertile soil but can tolerate and grow in almost all kinds of soil.


12. Coral Bark


Common Name Coral Bark Japanese Maple
Scientific Name Acer Palmatum
Average Height 20 to 30 feet
Average age 300 years
Color Green to yellow to crimson
Native to Southeast Korea, Central and South Japan.


The distinctive feature of these kinds of Maple trees, as the name suggests is that these plants have a coral-colored tree trunk. The branches are usually coral colored as well and the leaves of the plant change their colors each season.


They are light green during spring, greenish-yellow to fresh green during spring, bright to ochre yellow during fall and orange to crimson during winter months.


They are widely used as decorative plants in Asian backyards and gardens because of the brilliant and vibrant colors they showcase. The trees grow well in direct sunlight or partial shade.


These Maple tree varieties are drought resistant and can thrive in the loamy, sandy and well-drained type of soil.


13. Crimson King


Common Name Crimson King Maple, Norway Maple
Scientific Name Acer Platanoides
Average Height 30 to 40 feet
Average age 100 years
Color Purple to Crimson/Maroon
Native to North America


This specific maple tree species has matte-textured, greyish-purple leaves all summer long. The color of the leaves changes to a bright crimson or maroon during the fall season and it is then extremely scenic to look at.


The canopy of the Crimson king Maple spreads wide so it is commonly used as a shade tree. It is also a recurrent residential tree. Crimson King Maple can grow well in loamy soil and requires direct sunlight or partial shade to grow.


14. Vine Maple


Common Name Vine Maple
Scientific Name Acer Circinetum
Average Height 20 feet
Average age 80 to 90 years
Color Dark green to reddish-green.
Native to North-Western America


Among the different types of maple, the Vine Maple is unique and is aptly named because this shrub-sized maple tree has a vine-like structure with twisted branches and a thin crooked trunk.


It has an irregular crown structure and is a sprawling shrub that can grow into dense thickets. It can grow in moist soils that are rich in nitrogen and therefore, the Vine Maple is mostly found on river banks. It is basically a wild plant that grows in forests and can live without receiving direct sunlight


15. Sycamore Maple


Common Name Sycamore Maple
Scientific Name Acer Pseudoplatanus
Average Height  80 to 110 feet
Average age 450 to 600 years
Color Dark Green to purple-tinged/yellowish.
Native to Central Europe, Western Asia


The Sycamore Maple tree is the Maple tree with the longest lifespan among all maple tree varieties. A fully matured Sycamore Maple tree has dark green, wide-lobed leaves and a thick brown and scaly tree trunk.


It is used for extracting fragrant and pale-colored honey for consumption; the wood from this tree can also be used for various purposes like obtaining traditional firewood, making musical instruments, furniture and so on.


These are the different types of maple trees whose wood is non-staining. So they can also be used for making kitchen utensils like rolling pins, spoons and bowls. It can tolerate pollution and is, therefore, a great addition to urban and suburban sidewalks.


16. Fullmoon Maple


Common Name Fullmoon Maple
Scientific Name Acer Japonicum
Average Height 20 to 30 feet
Average age 90 to 110 years
Color Green to bright orange/dark red
Native to Japan, Southern Korea


These are short structured, slow-growing; deciduous maple trees that are bright green during summer and the same leaves turn to a bright orange or bright red during fall. The leaves are wide and lobed in nature.


This plant is mainly used as an ornamental plant that can be planted even in comparatively smaller backyards. It can be grown on well-drained fertile soil and under moderate temperature conditions.



Where Do Maple Trees Grow Best?

There are almost 132 maple tree species most of which are native to Asia, North America, Canada and parts of Europe.


Maple Trees are usually found in the Northern Hemisphere but due to cultivation and commercialization, they are now found even in African countries and other countries in the southern hemisphere.


What Is Special About Maple Tree Leaves?

Different types of maple trees have different types of leaves. Most maple tree leaves besides having a unique and distinct lobed structure also produce the famous and sweet maple syrup which is widely consumed by people all over the world. That is what makes the maple so special.


Maple Tree Bark, Fruits and Flowers

There are different varieties of maple trees with different kinds of maple barks. Although the bark, fruits and flowers of the various maple tree varieties vary for each type, maple trees usually have a thick and brown bark which is used for producing lumber, firewood, furniture, utensils, flooring and so on.


The bark of most kinds of maple trees is smooth and grey when the plant is young and becomes brown and scaly with age.

The fruit obtained from all types of maple trees is commonly known as ‘Samaras’ or ‘double samaras’ because they usually occur in pairs. These fruits are small in size and greenish-yellow to brown in color. They are helicopter shaped and often spin while falling to the ground from above. ‘Samaras’ can also be consumed and have a distinct maple flavor.


The ‘Samaras’ are nothing but transformed flowers of the Maple tree. The flowers of maple trees are tiny and difficult to spot with naked eyes from a distance.


The flowers of the green Maple trees are green in color and the red plants produce red flowers further camouflaging them.



Q. How do I know what kind of maple tree I have?

Ans: Identification of various kinds of maple trees you have or wish to have is important. Some of the distinct identification features are leaf size, leaf color, bark color and height. One should be aware of the kind of maple tree one wants and compare its features with the one they are purchasing.


Q. What is the prettiest maple tree among all maple tree varieties?

Ans: The prettiest and most colorful Maple trees are the Japanese maple, Red Maple and Sugar Maple. All of these different types of maple trees blossom beautifully and their leaves turn a vibrant shade of red, orange, pink or yellow mixed with some remaining green leaves during the fall season.


Q. What is the significance of the maple leaf to Canada?

Ans: Maple trees are found in surplus in Canada. Therefore, Canadians have chosen the red maple leaf to be their symbol on the national flag. The red color apart from being the color of the maple leaves during autumn also signifies the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers during World War I.


Q. Which maple trees are native to Canada?

Ans: The following Maple varieties are native to Canada:

  • The Sugar Maple
  • The Silver Maple
  • The Bigleaf Maple
  • The Red Maple
  • The Vine Maple


Q. Which maple tree Grows Fastest?

Ans: The fastest-growing Maple tree is the Red Maple.


Q. What maple tree stays red all year?

Ans: Among the numerous maple tree varieties, The Japanese maple tree is known for staying red all year round.



We hope this article has assisted you in learning about the different kinds of maple trees and their unique features. With the right kind of maple care, these maples live for years.