Scientific name: Acer grandidentatum
Description: This small-but-mighty, slow-growing tree or shrub is often used in the production of newer, fancier maple cultivars such as the Mesa Glow Maple (see below). Often it grows as an understory tree in Douglas fir and Maple-Oak habitats throughout the Intermountain West and is found throughout the mountains of New Mexico. It is known for its vibrant fall colors.
Mesa Glow Variety: This cultivar of the native Bigtooth Maple was developed by Rolston St. Hilaire at New Mexico State University. It is an upright, oval-shaped tree that has been cultivated to be drought tolerant, resistant to fungal disease, fast growing, and displays a bigger red color than other Bigtooth Maple cultivars.
Climate-readiness: (USDA Zones 4-8)
Size: average height of 20-35 feet, but if placed in the perfect location and happy, it can reach up to 50 feet, with a spread of 25-35 feet.
Leaves: Dark green leaves with 3-5 lobes. Red and gold colors in the fall with hints of pink/purple (see 4th of July Campground in the Manzano Mountains).
Fruit: Reproduces with one inch long double-winged samaras that can vary in color from green when immature to brown when mature.
Flowers: Small yellow clustered flowers appear about every 2 to 3 years.
Habitat: Intermountain West region. Max elevation 7500 feet. Does well in urban habitats, is cold (hardy to -30 F) and drought tolerant.
Water: Moderate, does not like excess water
Management & Care: Prefers full sun and well drained soil