Acer saccharum 'Newton Sentry'
Common Name: sugar maple
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 40.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 16.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellowish green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in fertile, slightly acidic, moist soils in full sun. Grows poorly in compacted, poorly drained soils. Intolerant of road salt. Generally intolerant of urban pollution.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acer saccharum commonly known as sugar maple is a deciduous, Missouri native tree which will typically grow 40' to 80' tall (sometimes to 100') with a dense, rounded crown. This tree is a main component of the Eastern U.S. hardwood forest and is one of the trees which is most responsible for giving New England its reputation for spectacular fall color. Medium green leaves (3-6" wide with 3-5 lobes) turn yellow-orange in autumn, sometimes with considerable color variations. Fruit is the familiar two-winged samara. Sugar maples are long-lived trees which grow relatively slowly (somewhat faster in the first 35 years). Native Americans taught the early colonists how to tap these trees to make maple syrup which has now become a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and Canada. Excellent shade tree. The sugar maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada.

Genus name is the Latin name for a maple tree.

Specific epithet means sugary in reference to the sweet sap. Saccharum is the genus name for sugarcane.

‘Newton Sentry’ is an extremely narrow, upright columnar cultivar that grows to 40-50’ tall with a spread of only 10-16’ wide. It was introduced into commerce in 1885. The original specimen tree still grows near the main entrance to Newton Cemetery in Newton, Massachusetts. Each tree totally lacks any central leader from about 6’ above to the ground upward. Ascending vertical major and minor branches have stubby lateral branches. Pale yellowish-green flowers appear in clusters in spring before the leaves emerge. Leathery dark green leaves with wavy margins develop good yellow, orange and red fall color.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to verticillium wilt, anthracnose, cankers, leaf spot and tar spot. Also susceptible to aphids, borers and scale. Leaf scorch may be a problem in drought conditions. Has been frequently used as a street tree, but is generally intolerant of road salt, soil compaction and pollution.

Garden Uses

Excellent specimen tree for the lawn or parks with beautiful fall color. May be used as a street tree as long as it can be located on a street and in a location where road salt, soil compaction and pollution will not be significant problems.

A unique tree with a unique shape for areas of the landscape where tall but narrow growth works well. Winter appearance can be disappointing.