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ACER leucoderme

Image of Acer leucoderme

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER leucoderme

Plant Common Name

Chalk Maple, White-barked Maple

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

In regions where the sugar maple falters because of intense summer heat or dry soils, the chalk maple may prove a worthy substitute. Native to the understory of the woods across the American Southeast, from eastern Texas and Oklahoma eastward to the Florida Panhandle and the Carolinas, the chalk oak can develop with a single trunk or multiple trunks. It always displays low branches and creates an upright, rounded silhouette.

Tiny yellow flower occur in spring, followed by green leaves with five rather blunt pointed lobes. Leaf undersides are yellow-green, which distinguishes it from the whitish undersides of leaves on the similar looking southern sugar maple (Acer barbatum). The seeds, known as samaras, mature to a yellow to sienna color. In autumn, the leaves change to shades ranging from yellow and orange to classic sugar maple red. Once the leaves fall away, the smooth bark best reveals its attractive whitish or gray coloration in ridges or blotches.

The chalk maple is a good option for a partially shaded area as a colorful shade tree. In more sun the soil must be irrigated, but it tolerates dryness well in the shady understory of a woodland garden. It excels in acidic, well-drained soils that are sandy loams. Slower growing that the southern sugar maple, chalk maple also is more unpredictably variable in its display of fall foliage. Some plants are boldly attractive while others fail to create the intense colors so many gardeners want in a maple tree.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Width

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    United States, Southeastern United States, Texas

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Dark Salmon, Sienna

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Orange, Gold, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    White, Gray, Silver

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No