problem resistant street trees

Asked June 15, 2017, 12:49 PM EDT

On behalf of my homeowners association, I am searching for problem resistant street trees for a 42-foot wide grassy area (no power lines) adjacent to a two-lane state road in Potomac, Md. How well do Pacific Sunset Maple or Norwegian Sunset Maple fare? How about the more dramatic Prunus cerasifera "Nigra" (cherry plum tree). The area for planting can handle about 4 trees in a row spread out. Should I try to diversify? How well do the maples do next to 1-2 American Hollies (taller) or "bookended" by deer resistant and smaller oakleaf hollies?

Montgomery County Maryland plant selection maple varieties

3 Responses

That sounds like a prime planting area.
We don't have any research about the maples you mention, per se. They are surely lovely, but we'd try to focus on maples that are native to our area, and these are not. Norway maples are actually considered invasive in Maryland and are not recommended.
Acer rubrum, or red maples are native here, so look in that direction.
Would not go with the cherry plum. They are not long-lived and can have multiple problems.
Diversifying is not a bad idea, in that if a problem were to arise, you wouldn't lose the whole row.
You have a great environmental department in Montgomery County, which includes lists of trees that are apt to do well there.
Take a look at this link:


The Pacific SUNSET Maple and the NORWEGIAN SUNSET Maple (not NORWAY MAPLE) along with the Red Sunset Maple are on the recommended tree list of the MD Dept of Natural Resources, Forest Service. I have also checked the MontCnty county's list for possible trees. But since I have had to apply for a State Permit to plant trees adjacent to a state road, I decided to go with the state list. My more detailed question is whether the sunset maples are susceptible to verticillium wilt. Ohio extension says not in its state--not like in Portland Oregon or California. Any ideas about this wilt and maples in general here in MD? Thanks, Nancy Moses at and retired master gardener (2007-2017).

We think there is some confusion here.
The two trees you are considering each have parentage from the Norway Maple (Acer platanoides), which is invasive.

Our native maple is Acer rubrum or Red Maple, and probably the best-known cultivar is 'Red Sunset'. Maybe that is the "SUNSET" you are thinking of?

Here is the recommended tree list from DNR Forest Service. Your trees are not listed:

As far as Verticillium resistance, our plant pathologist says there are no resistant maples.
That said, he says Verticillium infections are over-diagnosed, and there are usually other reasons that trees fail.
Keep an eye out for girdling roots when planting maples, especially if they are pot-bound. They need to be straightened out to prevent problems further down the road.