Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Black Maple
Acer nigrum

Other common names: Black Sugar Maple

French names: Érable ŕ sucre

Family: Maple Family (Aceraceae)

Group: Maples

Distinctive features: Tree; Droopy leaves. Classic maple-shaped leaves.

Similar species:
  •   Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

  •   Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) - leaf stalks exude milky sap when broken.

  •   Red Maple (Acer rubrum) - leaves are more toothed.


Flowers: Spring;  Yellow;  

Leaves: Opposite/Whorled, Simple, Toothed;  Droopy leaves. Classic maple-shaped leaves.

Height: 38 m (124 ft)

Habitat: Forests;  Moist, bottomlands.

Edible: Sap is edible.

Books: Trees in Canada: 136   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Less common than the other maples.

Notes: Easily confused with other maples, especially Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Norway Maple (Acer platanoides).

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: nigrum: black


See Also:
  •   Shades of Maple: Tree Identification Guide, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney
  •   Shades of Maple: Identification by Bud, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney
  •   Shades of Maple: The Flowers, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney


Photographs: 45 photographs available, of which 6 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

A close-up of Black Maple trunk and bark.

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Flowers, in May.

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Leaves unfolding in May.

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Black Maple seed "keys". Note how plump they are.

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Leaf. Note that it is very similar to Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Norway Maple (Acer platanoides). However, Black Maple usually has fewer lobes and points than the others. As well, Norway Maple has milky sap, and Sugar Maple leaves aren't droopy.

Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

However, note the droopy, wilted look of the leaves. This is characteristic of Black Maple.


Range map for Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)