Sugar Maple
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Aceraceae
Genus: Acer
Binomial nomenclature
Acer saccharum

A farm with a sugar maple in the front yard

The sugar maple is a prominent tree in the hardwood forests of eastern North America.

The sugar maple is a favorite street and yard tree, because it is easy to propagate and transplant, is fairly fast-growing, and has beautiful, often spectacular, fall color ranging from bright yellow through orange to fluorescent red-orange. It also has some of the most dense shade to be found in shade trees. Shallow, fibrous roots may interfere with growing grass under them.

The wood is some of the hardest of the maples, and is prized for furniture and flooring. A special type of maple, "birdseye maple", is especially valued.

This tree is closely related to the black maple which is sometimes included in this species but sometimes separated as Acer nigrum. Both these trees are superb sources of sap for making maple syrup, with the black maple being regarded as being slightly the better. Almost all maples can be used as a sap source for maple syrup, but none of the others are as good as these two.

Sugar maples in fall coloration

Sugar Maple Leaves (pen cap for scale)
Leaves are 10-15 cm (4-6 in) long and equally wide with 5 lobes. The basal lobes are relative small, while the upper lobes are larger and deeply notched (in contrast with the angular notching of the silver maple, however, the notches tend to be rounded at their interior.)