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Acer leucoderme (Chalk maple)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Acer leucoderme

Acer leucoderme Small

Chalk Maple, Whitebark Maple

Aceraceae (Maple Family)

Synonym(s): Acer nigrum var. leucoderme, Acer saccharum ssp. leucoderme, Acer saccharum var. leucoderme, Saccharodendron leucoderme


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A southern variation of sugar maple, chalk maple grows to 25 ft. and usually has 2-3 trunks. Its attractive, mature bark is chalky-surfaced. The significant landscape feature of this tree is its brilliant fall foliage. The leaves are smaller than those of Northern sugar maple (Acer saccharum), but the colors are just as bright. Small tree with rounded crown of slender branches and with distinctly whitish bark. Both the common name and the scientific name, meaning "white skin," describe the smooth bark.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Usually up to about 30 feet tall, can be taller.
Fruit: Two joined samaras.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , DC , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX
Native Distribution: NC to n. FL, w. to e. OK & TX
Native Habitat: Rocky woods; river bluffs; ravines

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained, rocky soils, Sandy, Sandy Loam.
Conditions Comments: Chalk maple displays good dry-soil tolerance, although it needs moisture if grown in brighter sites.


Use Ornamental: This rare tree is sometimes planted as a shade tree in the Southeast. Fall conspicuous, Understory tree.
Interesting Foliage: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: As soon as samaras turn yellowish or reddish brown and the seeds inside are firm, filled out, and dark brown. Best to gather from the tree as seeds that have already dropped lose viability quickly and are easily infested. Seed is usually not extracted from the samara. Keep in cold, moist storage.
Seed Treatment: Cold stratification in moist sand or peat/perlite mixture for 2-3 months.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Acer leucoderme in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acer leucoderme in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acer leucoderme


Record Modified: 2023-04-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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