Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Sugar Maple
(Acer saccharum)

Other common names: Hard Maple, Rock Maple

French names: Érable ŕ sucre

Family: Soapberry Family (Sapindaceae), (Maple Family (Aceraceae))

Group: Maples

Distinctive features: Tree

Similar species:
  •   Black Maple (Acer nigrum) - droopy leaves.

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

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


Flowers: Spring

Leaves: Opposite/Whorled, Simple, Toothed

Habitat: Forests, Fields and Open Areas;  Forests, open areas.

Edible: Sap is edible.

Books: Trees in Canada: 134   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Very common.

Notes: These are the famous "maple syrup" trees. A Sugar Maple leaf graces the Canadian flag.

See Also:
  •   Thanksgiving: Sugar Maples, from The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney
  •   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: 207 photographs available, of which 6 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Here is a very old Sugar Maple tree, probably more than 100 years old.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

The bark of Sugar Maple is distinctive in that it peels into thick vertical strips, attached at one side, lifting free on the other.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

This is the trunk of that ancient Sugar Maple pictured at the top of this page.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Flowers, in May.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

A Sugar Maple leaf.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Norway Maple leaves are very similar to Sugar Maple. Many tree ID beginners get the two trees mixed up. Here they are pictured together for comparison. The Sugar Maple leaf is on the bottom. Note that the Norway Maple leaf has more points. The quick and easy way to tell them apart is that Norway Maple have milky sap. This is easily seen by breaking a leaf stalk.


Range map for Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

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)