Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Acer saccharum
Sugar Maple
Aceraceae (Maple Family)

A large shade tree with rounded, dense crown, growing to a height of 21 - 30 m and a diameter of 0.6 - 0.9 m.


Sugar Maple Distinguishing Features - Leaves: opposite; 9 - 14 cm long; palmately lobed with 5 deep long-pointed lobes; few narrow long-pointed teeth; 5 main veins from base; leafstalks long and often hairy; dull dark green above, paler and often hairy on veins beneath; turning deep red, orange, and yellow in autumn. Bark: light gray; becoming rough and deeply furrowed into narrow scaly ridges. Twigs: greenish to brown or gray; slender. Flowers: 5 mm long; with bell-shaped five-lobed yellowish-green calyx; male and female in drooping clusters on long slender hairy stalks; with new leaves in early spring. Fruit: 1-1 1/4" (2.5-3 cm) long including long wing; paired forking keys; brown, single-seeded; maturing in autumn.


In Canada from southeastern Manitoba, through southern Ontario and Quebec, to Nova Scotia; south through the U.S. Mid-West to New England and Eastern Seaboard; in moist soils conditions in uplands and valleys, sometimes in pure stands.


Sugar Maple is a leader among furniture woods; it is also used for flooring, boxes and crates, and veneer. The boiled concentrated sap is the commercial source of maple sugar and syrup.

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