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6 Types of Maple Trees in Michigan (With Pictures)

Red Maple Tree_Yoksel Zok_Unsplash

Deem yourself lucky if you’ve ever had the chance to visit Michigan in the fall. Full of warm colors and falling leaves, you can thank the maple trees here for the beautiful scenery. Michigan is a state that is heavily forested, meaning you’ll never grow tired of all the beautiful varieties of trees to look at. While there are over 130 species of maple trees, Michigan has a handful that are worth noting.

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The 6 Types of Maple Trees in Michigan

1. Sugar Maple

Sugar maple tree in autumn
Image Credit: Mircea Costina, Shutterstock

Probably one of the most recognizable maple trees by name, the sugar maple has beautiful red, yellow, and orange leaves during the fall months. They are quite large, standing up to 115 feet tall. Most have 8-inch-long leaves, each with five lobes.

You’ll often see sugar maples planted in parks and other urban settings. They grow best in USDA growing zones 3–8. Some of the most common varieties include Legacy, Green Mountain, and Commemoration sugar maples.

2. Red Maple

Red Maple Tree
Image Credit: Rudy and Peter Skitterians, Pixabay

As the name suggests, you won’t be able to miss the bright red foliage of the red maple. Thriving in growing zones 3–9, these are the perfect choice if you prefer to have a maple tree in your yard. They do well during all seasons in the state and even get pink flowers for a short time during the spring.

Red maples are often called soft maples. They are the most abundant tree that is native to the Eastern United States. Because of their massive root systems, they can live just about anywhere, even in urban settings.

3. Black Maple

black maple tree
Image Credit: Magdalena Sinakova, Shutterstock

Less common than the red maple, black maples are actually more similar to sugar maples. Some people even consider them a subspecies of sugar maples. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is by looking at the leaves. Black maples have leaves with three lobes as opposed to five. They are also darker and droopier with smaller seeds. The wood is extremely hard and is often used as timber for various products.

4. Silver Maple

Silver Maple during spring
Image Credit: crystaltmc, Shutterstock

Like many of the other maple trees on this list, the silver maple is another that gets its name from its color. This tree has stunning silver-tinted foliage that is mostly on the underside of the leaves. Other common names for this species include silverleaf, swamp maple, and water maple.

You are most likely to see a silver maple in the eastern and central parts of the US. However, they are also prevalent in Southeastern Canada. Most grow 70 feet tall and 45 feet wide. They are often used for pulp to make paper, lumber, tool handles, and crates.

5. Striped Maple

striped maple up close
Image Credit: guentermanaus, Shutterstock

Have you ever heard of the goosefoot or moosewood maple? No? Well, now you have! The striped maple may have some odd names, but you’ll know it when you see it thanks to the unique striped bark. This is a smaller maple species, growing only 33 feet high with a trunk only 8 inches in diameter. The leaves have three lobes and reach 6 inches long.

These maples prefer to live in habitats where there are many slopes and forests, and Michigan’s coastline is the perfect place for them to thrive. Rabbits, moose, and beavers especially love these trees because the bark acts as the perfect treat during the long, harsh winter months.

6. Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple
Image Credit: nagara-oyodo, Unsplash

Drive around the suburbs of Michigan for a few minutes and count how many Japanese maples you spot in each home’s landscaping. These trees are incredibly popular in this state thanks to their one-of-a-kind leaves and colors. They grow up to 30 feet tall, although there are varieties of all sizes. While they are native to Japan and some other Asian countries, they tend to thrive here in Michigan as well.

The leaves of the Japanese maples grow up to five inches long and often have nine lobes. Even though they can grow in hot climates, they really prefer partial shade. If you’re looking for an ornamental tree for your home in Michigan, this is one of the best choices out there.

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Maple trees are always beautiful, especially during the fall months when their foliage starts to change color. Regardless, they look stunning during every season and are big, hardy trees that are perfect for your property. Hopefully, this article has given you some information on the most popular trees in the state, and maybe even convinced you to start planting some.

Featured Image By: Yokzel Zok, Unsplash


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