These 15 Maple Trees Will Add Vibrant Color to Your Yard

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These 15 Maple Trees Will Add Vibrant Color to Your Yard

maple tree close up leaves

With their vibrant foliage, maple trees are popular options for adding stunning color to landscapes. No matter how big your yard is or what the weather is like in your location, a variety of maple will work for you. Our list5 types of maple trees will help you pick the perfect one for your landscape.

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Japanese Maple

Japanese maple trees, with their elegant form and foliage, have been treasured throughout the centuries. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, with beautifully serrated green or red foliage. In general, Japanese maples remain compact and can fit into tight spaces. You also can grow them as a bonsai.

Botanical Name: Acer palmatum

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade

Zones: 5–8

Coral Bark Maple

Mike Jensen

Year-round color! That’s what you get with coral bark maple. This type of maple tree has reddish-pink bark and pale green leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall. In the winter, the color of the tree’s bark brightens, so it stands out in a snowy landscape.

Botanical Name: Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade

Size: 15–20 feet tall, 12 feet wide

Zones: 5–8

Paperbark Maple

Jane Milliman

This gorgeous, slow-growing maple tree is perfect for small yards and develops lovely, peeling, red-brown bark. In addition, this maple variety produces bright green foliage, which turns reddish-yellow in fall.

Botanical Name: Acer griseum

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Size: 20–30 feet tall, 12 feet wide

Zones: 5–7

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Sugar Maple

Denny Schrock

When it comes to fall color, sugar maples are at the top of the list. These native maple trees are spectacular in autumn when their foliage turns vibrant red, orange, and yellow. They make excellent shade trees for large backyards. There are several options, but ‘Green Mountain’ is one of the most popular because it’s drought-resistant.

Botanical Name: Acer saccharum

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Size: 50–75 feet tall, 30–45 feet wide

Zones: 4–8

Silver Maple

Silver maple is a graceful, fast-growing maple tree that is best planted in moist locations away from buildings because they tend to drop branches. They have aggressive root systems that can infiltrate sewer systems, so plant it away from underground pipes. Hybrids such as ‘Silver Queen’ or ‘Silver Cloud’ are less messy and aggressive.

Botanical Name: Acer saccharinum

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Size: 60–80 feet tall, 40–60 feet wide

Zones: 3–9

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Red Maple

Denny Schrock

A North American native, red maple trees form an oval crown of bright green leaves that turn fiery red in autumn. Red maple grows at a moderate rate and makes a sturdy, beautiful shade tree. Look for top varieties such as ‘Red Sunset’, ‘October Glory’, ‘Red Supersonic’, ‘Ruby Frost’, and ‘Columnar’.

Botanical Name: Acer rubrum

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade

Size: 40–60 feet tall, 30–40 feet wide

Zones: 3–9

Hedge Maple

Denny Schrock

The rounded form of hedge maple is easily sheared to any height to create a privacy screen or living wall. In the fall, this maple tree develops pretty, pale yellow leaves. ‘Metro Gold’ and ‘Royal Ruby’ are reliable varieties with bold fall color.

Botanical Name: Acer campestre

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade

Size: 20–35 feet tall, 20–30 feet wide

Zones: 5–8

Crimson King Maple

This popular purple-leaf maple tree is actually a form of the common Norway maple. In fall, the foliage of ‘Crimson King’ maple turns a deep maroon. Like other Norway maples, it can be invasive in some regions.

Botanical Name: Acer platanoides ‘Crimson King’

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Size: 35–45 feet tall, 25–30 feet wide

Zones: 3–7

Buy It: ‘Crimson King’ Maple Tree ($35, The Home Depot)

Snakebark Maple

Denny Schrock

Named for its unique, striped bark, snakebark maple is a relatively compact type of maple tree, making it a good choice for small backyards. Plant these small trees where you can admire their spectacular bark, which becomes more colorful with age.

Botanical Name: Acer pectinatum ssp. forrestii

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade

Size: 15–20 feet tall, 15 feet wide

Zones: 5–9

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10

Korean Maple

Denny Schrock

If you love Japanese maple trees but live in a region where they won’t survive the winter, try Korean maple. These rugged, small trees can tolerate cold temperatures. The trees have deeply lobed, dark green leaves that turn crimson in autumn. This type of maple tree loves full sun and partial shade.

In the spring, Korean maples develop small purple flowers that add to the color show. They also grow well in containers. Korean maple does not like hot, dry conditions.

Botanical Name: Acer pseudosieboldiana

Growing Conditions: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Size: 15–25 feet tall, 15 feet wide

Zones: 4–8

11

Trident Maple

Denny Schrock

Resistant to air pollution, trident maple is a good choice for street-side plantings. In the fall, this variety of maple trees’ bright green lobed foliage changes to deep scarlet and orange. Trident maple grows slowly, so it rarely needs pruning. Plant this red maple tree in full sun or partial shade.

Trident maple makes an excellent low-maintenance shade tree, especially for smaller yards. It’s also relatively drought and disease-resistant. Look for varieties ‘Naruto’ or ‘Ningpoense’.

Botanical Name: Acer buergerianum

Growing Conditions: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Size: 20–30 feet tall, 20–30 feet wide

Zones: 5–9

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12

Three-Flowered Maple

Denny Schrock

Also called roughbark maple, this versatile, small maple tree grows well in shade or sun and develops interesting ridges or knobs on the trunk as it matures. It is one of the few varieties of maple trees that develop fall color even if grown in the shade. You can plant this type of maple in any soil condition—it’s very low maintenance.

Three-flowered maple looks great in four seasons, has few pest or disease problems, and is drought resistant.

Botanical Name: Acer triflorum

Growing Conditions: Full Sun, Shade

Size: 20 feet tall, 20 feet wide

Zones: 5–9

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13

Morton Miyabe Maple

Denny Schrock

First selected at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, the award-winning Morton miyabe maple has proved itself a durable, easy-care maple tree with fantastic fall color. This type of maple tree’s dense branches make it a terrific shade tree, but it prefers to grow in full sun.

This adaptable and hardy maple is tolerant to heat, cold, soil type, and urban pollution. It is not invasive and would be a good substitute for ash trees where ash borer problems exist. Two excellent selections are ‘State Street’ and ‘Rugged Ridge’ varieties.

Botanical Name: Acer miyabei

Growing Conditions: Full Sun

Size: 40–50 feet tall, 30–35 feet wide

Zones: 4–6

14

Tatarian Maple

Image courtesy of Bailey Nurseries.

A relative of Amur maple, tatarian maple is a tough, attractive maple tree that tolerates cold winters and hot summers. Look for varieties of maple trees that develop spectacular scarlet seedpods, such as ‘Hot Wings’. These types of seedlings grow fabulously in the summer, preferring full-sun to partial-shade conditions. Variety ‘Rugged Charm’ is also an excellent option for small yards because it stays compact.

Botanical Name: Acer tataricum

Growing Conditions: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Size: 15–20 feet tall, 15 to 20 feet wide

Zones: 3–8

15

Black Maple

Image courtesy of Bailey Nurseries.

Although closely related to sugar maple, black maples are more heat and drought-resistant. wise, these close cousins are similar except for leaf shape. Black maple leaves have three lobes, while sugar maples have the traditional five lobes.

Black maples form a large, rounded crown, making it an exceptional shade tree. In the fall, their leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow and red.

Botanical Name: Acer saccharum nigrum

Growing Conditions: Full sun

Size: 50–75 feet tall, 50 feet wide

Zones: 4–8

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Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.