Tree Species Highlight

Caddo Maple - Acer saccharum 'Caddo'

There are many species of maple trees that are easy to admire due to their beautiful fall color and a useful variety of sizes and forms. Successfully growing many of the maple species here in Central Oklahoma can be a challenge. However we are fortunate to actually have a maple that is native to Oklahoma. The Caddo maple is a cultivar of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and is named after the Oklahoma county where it was discovered.
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The Caddo maple is a large species of tree and can be expected to mature to 40’ wide and tall or greater. Many maples struggle with the hot and dry periods typical of our summers. In midsummer, it’s common to see leaf scorch or leaf loss on many young maple trees. The problem seems to lessen with maturity as the tree is able to adapt. You can expect that the Caddo maple will be less likely to show these leaf issues.

Sun scald is another common problem for maples here. When the leaves have fallen off of a tree and the sun is more direct to the trunk, the sun can actually scald the trunk of the tree. Many maples have relatively thin and smooth textured bark so they can be more susceptible to scald and sometimes become cracked from exposure to the sun.

In comparison to the familiar silver maple, the Caddo maple is far less likely break and drop limbs. Likewise, silver maple appears to be one of the worst for growing shallow roots at the surface, but we typically do not see shallow surface roots to be a problem with Caddo maple. The nursery industry is rapidly developing new and improved cultivars of maple trees so there are many that are worth consideration. Planting a native Caddo maple, or one of the cultivars of it, should give you all of the beauty of the sugar maple species in a tree that’s well suited for many part of Oklahoma.

Check out last season's Tree Species Highlight

Take a look at more topics from the Fall 2014 issue of Edmond Tree Mail