Canyon Treasure™ Bigtooth Maple - Acer saccharum ssp. grandidentatum 'Orbit' (RFM-68)


Canyon TreasureCanyon TreasureCanyon TreasureBigtooth Maple is considered a western subspecies of the sugar maple native in eastern North America. It grows in drier locations, and provides an extravaganza of autumn color in the canyons of the Rocky Mountains, particularly in southern Idaho and Utah. Trees are smaller in stature compared to sugar maple. In the 1970's -80's, NDSU obtained numerous seed sources of Bigtooth Maple largely from Utah. Of the hundreds of seedlings grown, only one plant survived in USDA hardiness zone 3 winters. This plant grew in a dense, broadly-oval to globose form with quality foliage and attractive golden-orange to orange-red autumn color, depending on soil site variation and particular climatic conditions of a given fall. Specifically, the leaves have 3-prominent, major blocky lobes. Leaves are somewhat smaller and more bluntly-toothed than leaves of sugar maple. This tree has performed well at several North Dakota sites, including an evaluation plot in Bismarck, ND from 1994 to present. Over a 15-year period, annual growth rate averaged 1.3', the last eight years growing in sod. Height and width in 2011 was approximately 24' by 15 ¼', respectively. Since other seed sources and a commercially introduced cultivar have not proven to be winter hardy in the Northern Plains, NDSU researchers decided to name and introduce this hardier seedling ‘Orbit’ - Canyon Treasure™. USDA hardiness zone 3b-4. 

Potential Uses or Applications

Nursery stock, shade, specimen, residential landscape, parks and other public grounds

Development Stage

Plant propagation material can be obtained from NDSU Plant Sciences Department or trees from licensed nursery subject to availability.

Patent Status

U.S. Trademark - Canyon Treasure™


This cultivar is available for non-exclusive licensing.

Inquire about this technology >