Content Detail

Hedge maples have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. While these trees have demonstrated invasive traits, there is insufficient supporting research to declare them so pervasive that they cannot be recommended for any planting sites. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting these trees for planting sites. Hedge maple is a broad-rounded tree that is useful as a specimen or in groups as a hedge. It can tolerate part shade, especially when young, and prefers moist, well-drained soil. It is relatively salt-tolerant, so it can be used near sidewalks and driveways. The leaves turn greenish yellow in fall.

  • Family (English) Soapberry (formerly Maple)
  • Family (botanic) Sapindaceae (formerly Aceraceae)
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 25-35 feet
  • Mature width 25-35 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Road salt
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Aggressive, Commonly planted
  • Wildlife Birds, Insect pollinators, Small mammals
  • Has cultivars Yes

Size and form:

Hedge maples are a broad-rounded tree that reaches 25-35 feet tall and wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to Europe and Africa.

Attracts birds and other pollinators:

It attracts birds, insect pollinators and small mammals.

Bark color and texture:

The bark is dark gray to gray-black and is lightly ridged and furrowed.

Leaf description:

Hedge maples have dark green, lobed simple leaves in pairs (opposite) that are two to four inches long. The leaves turn mild yellow to yellow-green in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size description:

The tree produces green clustered flowers that are fairly inconspicuous.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras) that are spread at a 180 degree angle from one another.

Plant care:

Hedge maples have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. It can tolerate part shade, especially when young, and prefers moist, well-drained soil. It is relatively salt-tolerant, so it can be used near sidewalks and driveways. The leaves turn greenish yellow in fall. Avoid pruning in early spring as maples are ‘bleeders’ and will lose large amounts of sap.

Diseases, pests, and tolerances:

Verticillium wilt (fungus) is a potential problem for maples. It is tolerant of compaction, salt and air pollution.

Metro Gold® hedge maple (Acer campestre ‘Panacek’):

This cultivar has a narrow, oval habit and yellow fall color. It grows to 35 feet high and 20 feet wide.

Royal Ruby hedge maple (Acer campestre ‘Royal Ruby’):

The new foliage emerges ruby red and then changes to dark green in summer.

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