Herbs & Plants

Acer saccharum grandidentatum

Botanical Name: Acer saccharum grandidentatum or Acer grandidentatum
Family: Sapindaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Acer
Species:A. grandidentatum

For bigtooth maple::
*Acer saccharum Marsh. subsp. grandidentatum (T. & G.) Desmarais
*Acer saccharum Marsh. subsp. grandidentatum (Nutt.) Desmarais
*Acer saccharum var. grandidentatum (Nutt.) Sudw.

For canyon maple:
*Acer saccharum Marsh. var. sinuosum (Rehd.) Sarg.
*Acer sinuosum Rehd.

Common Names: Big-Tooth Maple, Canyon Maple, Rocky Mountain Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum grandidentatum is native to Western N. America – Rocky Mountains. It grows in moist sites such as wet canyons, valleys and the banks of mountain streams at elevations of 1200 – 2100 metres.

It commonly grows in limestone soils but can adapt to a wide range of well-drained soils, from sand to clays to even white limestone areas. It prefers sheltered canyons, valleys, and the banks of mountain streams, primarily at higher elevations but occasionally at lower elevations in disjunct locales such as the southern edge of the Edwards Plateau in Texas and in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma.

Acer saccharum grandidentatum is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 10–15 m (33–49 ft) tall and a trunk of 20–35 cm (8–14 in) diameter. The bark is dark brown to gray, with narrow fissures and flat ridges creating plate-like scales; it is thin and easily damaged. The leaves are opposite, simple, 6–12 cm (2 1?4–4 3?4 in) long and broad, with three to five deep, bluntly-pointed lobes, three of the lobes large and two small ones (not always present) at the leaf base; the three major lobes each have 3–5 small subsidiary lobules. The leaves turn golden yellow to red in fall (this trait is less reliable in warmer areas).

The flowers appear with the leaves in mid spring; they are produced in corymbs of 5–15 together, each flower yellow-green, about 4–5 mm (3?16–3?16 in) diameter, with no petals. The fruit is a paired samara (two winged seeds joined at the base), green to reddish-pink in color, maturing brown in early fall; each seed is globose, 7–10 mm (1?4–3?8 in) diameter, with a single wing 2–3 cm (3?4–1 1?4 in) long.


Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pest tolerant, Specimen, Street tree. Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil but succeeds on most soils. Chlorosis can often develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Trees need full light and a lot of space if they are to grow well. Plants are hardy to about -45°c when fully dormant. Slow growing when young. Plants produce prodigious root growth but very little top growth in first year from seed. A very ornamental tree but a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. This species is commercially exploited in America for its sap. Along with A. saccharum and the sub-species A. s. nigrum it is the major source of maple syrup. There are some named varieties. The sap can be tapped within 10 – 15 years from seed but it does not flow so well in areas with mild winters. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Edible Uses:
The sap is relatively rich in sugar and can be made into a drink or concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. It can be harvested in late winter or early spring, the flow is best on a warm sunny day after a frost. Trees on southern slopes in sandy soils give the best yields. It is best to make a hole about 7cm deep and about 1.3 metres above the ground. Yields of 40 – 100 litres per tree can be obtained. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. Seed – boiled then roasted. The seed is about 6mm long and is produced in small clusters. Inner bark cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.

Medicinal Uses: Not known to us.

Other Uses:
The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. Wood – close grained, tough, hard, heavy. Used for furniture, ship building, etc. It is a good fuel.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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