How long does it take a maple tree to grow?

Written by mark bingaman
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How long does it take a maple tree to grow?
Maple trees grow in every section of the U.S. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The length of time that a maple tree requires to grow is dependent on the particular species. Red maple, sugar maple, Japanese red maple--and cultivars like the October Glory maple--all possess a different maximum height potential and rate of growth. Additionally, environmental factors may affect the lifespan.

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Sugar Maple

The sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum) is considered to possess a slow-to-medium rate of growth. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, slow growth denotes a tree that grows less than 13 inches annually, while medium growth indicates growth between 13 and 24 inches each year. Trees rated as fast growers increase in size more than 24 inches annually. The sugar maple grows to a height of between 60 and 75 feet. Therefore, it requires between 30 and 40 years to reach maturity.

Japanese Red Maple

The Japanese red maple (Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum) possesses a slow-to-medium rate of growth and typically achieves a maximum height of 15 to 25 feet. The amount of time necessary for this species to grow to maturity will range from seven to 10 years. An ornamental tree, it enjoys partial shade and thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 through 8. It is tolerant of neither extreme cold or heat.

Red Maple

The red maple (Acer rubrum) grows to between 40 and 60 feet in height at a rate of medium-to-fast. Therefore, the tree will require between 20 and 30 years to spread upward to its maximum height. Cold and heat fails to play a significant role in determining growth with this species, as its native habitat ranges from Newfoundland to Florida; it is considered hardy to USDA zones 3 through 9. It enjoys full sunshine and thrives in various soils.

October Glory

The October Glory maple (Acer rubrum 'October Glory') is a cultivar of the red maple tree. It is considered to be a medium-to-fast grower and accumulates to an approximate height of 40 to 50 feet with a spread of 35 feet. This specimen requires between 20 and 25 years to reach full maturity. A shade tree that enjoys full sunshine, it will grow to its full potential in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9.

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