Bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum Nutt.) is a woody deciduous tree that is indigenous only to North America (St. Hilaire, 2002). The plant has a contiguous geographic range that covers 18° of latitude and includes regions in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (Bsoul et al., 2006). This extensive range gives the bigtooth maple taxa one of the largest ecological ranges among the North American Acer genus. The plant’s small stature (Morgan, 2002), adaptability to a variety of edaphic conditions (Barker, 1974), tolerance to drought (Bsoul et al., 2007), salinity (Bsoul, 2005), and radiation (Bowen-O’Connor et al., 2013) and autumn foliage colors that range from yellow to crimson (Morgan, 2002) engender general agreement among horticulturists that bigtooth maple merits more widespread landscape use.
Of the current cultivars of bigtooth maple in the nursery and landscape trades, A. grandidentatum ‘Schmidt’, marketed as Rocky Mountain Glow®, A. grandidentatum Manzano™, and A. grandidentatum ‘Western Torch Wasatch Maple’ (Richards and Rupp, 2012), only Rocky Mountain Glow® is readily available (Richards et al., 2012). To help bigtooth maple become more widely used in managed urban landscapes, New Mexico State University (NMSU) is releasing A. grandidentatum ‘JFS-NuMex 3’, marketed as Mesa Glow®, a new and distinct cultivar that has an upright, well-branched form and a canopy structure that is desirable in urban settings. This cultivar is distinguished by its enhanced tolerance to drought and improved resistance to fungal diseases, faster growth, more upright form, and redder fall colors than previous bigtooth maple selections.
Bowen-O’Connor, C.A., VanLeeuwen, D.M., Sterling, T.M., Bettmann, G. & St. Hilaire, R. 2013 Variation in violaxanthin and lutein cycle components in two provenances of Acer grandidentatum L. exposed to short-term contrasting light Acta Physiol. Plant. 35 541 548
Bsoul, E.Y. 2005 Ecotypic variation in drought and salinity responses of bigtooth maples. Plant and environmental sciences, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM, PhD Diss
Bsoul, E.Y., St. Hilaire, R. & VanLeeuwen, D. 2006 Bigtooth maples exposed to asynchronous cyclic irrigation show provenance differences in drought adaptation mechanisms J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131 459 468
Bsoul, E.Y., St. Hilaire, R. & VanLeeuwen, D. 2007 Bigtooth maples from selected provenances effectively endure deficit irrigation HortScience 42 1167 1173
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co 2013 Welcome. 18 July 2013. <http://www.jfschmidt.com/>.
Richards Reed, M., Rupp, L.A., Kjelgren, R. & Rasmussen, V.P. 2012 Selection and budding propagation on native bigtooth maple for water conserving landscapes HortTechnology 22 669 679
Royal Horticultural Society 2001 RHS Colour Chart. Royal Hort. Soc., London, UK