Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Acer barbatum

Common Name: Southern Sugar Maple (Florida Maple)
Zones: 6-9
Plant Type: Deciduous tree
Family: Aceraceae (Maple)
Texas Native: Yes
Origin: Wild
Size: 50 feet tall by 30 feet wide.
Bloom: Very small greenish-yellow flowers that attract honeybees
Water: Moderate, well drained soil
Maintenance: Little to none.
Propagation: Stratified seed.

The Southern Sugar Maple is a wonderful native ornamental and shade tree for the South. It is essentially a “Canadian flag” sugar maple that adapted itself to the South. Unlike the foresters, I refuse to refer to it as the Florida sugar maple as it’s barely native to Florida. It’s not common in the trade but well worth seeking out. Its fall color is generally butterscotch yellow with occasional orange or red blushes, somewhat like a peach. It generally has marcescent foliage which clings throughout the winter. It’s one of my favorite trees. One of these days I’ll try tapping some and making southern maple syrup.
Greg Grant, SFA Gardens Outreach