Chicagoland Grows®, a partnership between The Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden, is introducing the Crescendo™ (Acer saccharum ‘Morton’) Sugar Maple. This sugar maple tree is heat- and drought-tolerant and has durable dark green summer foliage and outstanding orange-red fall color. It is an excellent specimen or shade tree for residential lawns, parks and golf courses.
This tree was discovered as a spontaneous sapling growing in a hedgerow at The Morton Arboretum. The Arboretum’s landscape architect noticed the tree for its consistent fall coloration.
Over the years, Crescendo proved to be attractive and uniform in habit. Its well-balanced branching gives this tree a broadly oval habit that will reach 20 to 25 feet in height with a 15- to 20-foot spread in 10 to 15 years. In maturity, it reaches 40 to 45 feet in height and is 30 to 35 feet wide. It is considered to have a moderate growth rate.
Hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 7, Crescendo grows best in full sun on moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil. Once established, the tree is has superior heat and drought tolerance. In fact, it is more drought-tolerant than other Midwestern grown sugar maple selections. In addition to environmental adaptability, there are no significant disease or pest problems. Like most sugar maples, it should not be planted in sites with compacted, poorly drained soils or in areas with significant deicing salt spray or runoff.
Chicagoland Grows is also introducing a superior Peking tree lilac called Beijing Gold® (Syringa pekinenesis ‘Zhang Zhiming’) and a new long-blooming garden plant called Forever Pink Phlox (Phlox ‘Forever Pink’).
For more information, visit chicagolandgrows.org.