Although not necessarily my favorite tree overall, when it comes to fall foliage, I think the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is tough to beat. In my opinion it sets the benchmark by which all other deciduous trees are judged. The brilliant varieties of reds and oranges are just splendid.
Also known as a Rock Maple, or “Hard” Maple, these trees are next to impossible to find at most area tree stores, especially the big box places. Yet it’s easy to find Red Maple (Acer rubrum), even multiple varieties of Red Maple. I am not sure if this is because they grow faster and are cheaper to produce, if people see Sugar Maples and mistakenly ask for “Red” Maples, or if the public legitimately prefers Red Maple. I tend to think that the warmer shades of the Sugar Maple are much preferable over the cooler and sometimes duller shades produced by the Red Maple. Whenever we are out and about and comment on an amazing fall tree, 9 times out of 10 it will end up being a Sugar Maple. Red Maples also lose their leaves much faster than Sugar Maples.
We have been absurdly busy so I haven’t had a chance to go photographing like I often do in the fall. I did manage to take a few snaps of our amazing Sugar Maples here at the farm to share!