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ACER nigrum 'Monumentale'

Image of Acer nigrum 'Monumentale'

James H. Schutte

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER nigrum 'Monumentale'

Plant Common Name

Black Maple, Columnar Black Maple

Special Notice

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

General Description

The Midwest version of the great American sugar maple is a beautiful deciduous tree that falls short of its kin only in its less spectacular fall color. Native from New York to western Iowa, it surpasses sugar maple in its tolerance of heat, drought, and alkaline soil.

An upright deciduous shade tree with an oval to rounded canopy, it bears inconspicuous clusters of chartreuse flowers in spring that develop into helicopter-like fruits called samaras. Its medium to dark green summer foliage gives way to hues of red, pink, orange and golden yellow in the fall. The dark gray bark is smooth in youth, but rough and platy on older trunks and branches. Several cultivars of different size and habit are available.

In addition to beauty, these trees offer a sweet treat that’s a true American favorite, maple sugar and syrup. In late winter to early spring the trees are tapped as soon as temperatures begin to warm and the watery slightly sweet sap starts to flow. The sap is collected in buckets and taken to a sugar house where it is cooked down, or reduced, until thick, syrupy and super sweet. There are different grades of maple syrup: The clear mild Grade A (light, medium or dark amber), which is used on pancakes and grade B, which is darker, stronger in flavor and typically used for cooking.

Black maples grows best in full to partial sun and tolerates a wide range of well-drained soils. It fares well in city yards and parks with ample space for root growth. Soil compaction and root confinement can lead to leaf scorch, leaf drop or stunted, non-uniform growth.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    North America, Europe, Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Green, Chartreuse

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Green, Lime Green, Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Orange

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes