by Nick Perry
When you see or hear the word autumn, what is the first image you have? Many people immediately think of the spectacular color changes in the foliage. The magnificent reds, yellows and oranges can really be prominent during sunny autumn days.
This week’s “Tree of the Week” does not disappoint when it comes to displaying brilliant fall coloring.
The Highland Park Maple, Acer grandidentatum x saccharum ‘Hipzam’, is part of the Sugar Maple family and is native to North America. It is classified as a Zone 4 tree on the USDA hardiness map and can be grown in the majority of Minnesota.
The Highland Park Maple is not a very large tree in size. It can grow between 30 and 50 feet in height and its spread can vary from 20 to 25 feet. With a pyramidal growth habit, it can be used in both group plantings or as a stand-alone accent tree in a residential yard. It requires full sunlight and grows at a medium rate. Because it can handle adverse growing conditions, this maple may be able to grow where other similar maples do not fare as well. The capability to tolerate dry soils and urban pollution allows it to grow in commercial and residential environments. The ability to resist pests and diseases also add to its allure. It shouldn’t be considered for boulevard plantings, as it does not fare well in saline soils and its lateral branches typically arise roughly 78 feet off the ground.
The tree does not produce any showy flowers or fruit. It does, however, have very nice foliage. The leaves are sturdy and tatterproof. In the spring and summer, they are a rich dark green. In the fall, they begin to change color producing gorgeous reds, yellows and oranges.
Young, red branches also add an attractive element to the landscape throughout the year. The red branches can really look picturesque against the freshly fallen snow.
The University of Minnesota has successfully grown the Highland Park Maple species at their St. Paul field location. They will provide several of these specimens to local areas including the City of St. Paul and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
Photo Courtesy of Willoway Nurseries, Inc.
Willoway Nurseries Inc. Acer grandidentatum ‘Hipazam’ – Highland Park Maple. 2015. Willoway Nurseries inc. Avon, OH. Willoway Marketing. Web. 23 October, 2015.
Plant Finder: Highland Park Bigtooth Maple. (n.d.). Chalet Nursery website. Retrieved from
The Tree Farm: Highland Park Bigtooth Maple. (2010). The Tree Farm website. Retrieved from
Acer grandidentata. ‘Highland Park’ Bigtooth Maple. (n.d.). Robinson Nursery website. Retrieved from http://www.robinsonnursery.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/02/Acergrand.HighlandPark.pdf
As Tough As Nails. (2010). Lake County Nursery website. Retrieved from