2015

 
 

This is one of the loveliest as well as toughest maples native to North America. Chalk maple, or Acer leucoderme, averages only 20 to 25 feet high. It is sometimes multi-trunked and is noted for its beautiful, chalky white bark. Its leaves are two to three inches in diameter, with a languid droop that gives Chalk maple an elegant mien. These dark green leaves are handsome all summer but become riotous in autumn. They put on a  spectacular display of vivid yellow, orange and deep red that will make this tree the focal point of the autumnal garden. Fortunately, the beauty of Chalk maple doesn't end with winter owing to the beautiful bark that stands out so nicely in a dull winter’s landscape.

Although native to the deep South the Chalk maple does well much further north, although it is rare even in its native range. It naturally occurs as an understory tree in moist, rocky soils on river banks, ravines, woods, and cliffs but also does well in full sun. It's size recommends it for modern gardens and its rarity and beauty make it a connoisseur's choice. It does well across the southern half of the US, across the UK, New Zealand and would be a good candidate for Australia.

As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, tree nursery.

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Chalk maple

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