Heat and Drought Tolerant Sugar Maples
The sugar maple is one of our better-known and favorite native trees. But its intolerance of heat, drought and heavy clay soils has limited plantings in urban settings and hotter regions. Several selections of Caddo sugar maples are helping to expand its use in hotter and drier environments.
These varieties have been performing well in research trials at Kansas State University’s John C. Pair Horticulture Center. These trees proved more heat and drought tolerant, better adapted to high pH soils and resistant to leaf scorch and tatters.
Autumn Splendor may be the best sugar maple for the southern plains and the southwest. John Pair is a slightly smaller, rounder variety also suited to the southern plains.
Flashfire, another Caddo maple, is hardy to zone 4, adapted to southern heat and has good mildew resistance.
A bit more information: These heat and drought tolerant sugar maple varieties originated in the Caddo Mountains of Oklahoma. Like other sugar maples, they do not tolerate heavy soils that can be frequently saturated or wet areas.