Black maple

Silhouette - black maple
  • Latin name: Acer nigrum Michx.
  • French name: Érable noir
  • Synonym(s): Black sugar maple
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 182135
  • NA3 , C4
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - black maple

Form

  • Appear wilted
  • 3–5 lobes
  • Central lobe tapered
  • Central and lateral lobes separated by open, shallow notches
  • Lower leaf surface has dense, velvety hairs

Colour

  • Upper surface dark green
  • Lower surface yellowish-green
  • Hairs brownish

Autumn colour

  • Yellow to brownish-yellow

Margin

  • Teeth few, indistinct

Petiole

  • 6–10 cm long

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - black maple

Form

  • Terminal bud present
  • Scales blunt, hairy

Colour

  • Dark brown

Twigs

  • Winter twig - black maple

Form

  • Hairless

Colour

  • Dull

Flowers

Form

  • Without petals
  • 5 depals
  • Drooping, tassel-like lateral (sometimes terminal) corymbs
  • Stalks slender, hairy

Length

  • Stalks 18–50 mm

Colour

  • Sepals greenish-yellow

Structure

  • Polygamo-monoecious

Floral timing

  • Before the leaves

Fruits

  • Fruit - black maple

Form

  • Wings parallel or converging slightly 
  • Stalk hairy, about same length as wings
  • Paired fruits may separate when shed, leaving stalk on tree

Structure

  • Samara
  • In joined pairs

Bark

Form

  • At first smooth
  • Developing long, narrow, vertical, firm, irregular ridges
  • Deeply furrowed
  • Often scaly

Colour

  • Dark grey

Wood

Texture

  • Heavy, hard, strong

Colour

  • Light yellowish-brown

Morphology

  • Diffuse-porous
  • Rays easily visible

Figure

  • Often with a curly grain (bird’s-eye)

Uses

  • Furniture, toys, cabinetwork, veneer, plywood, flooring
  • Turned woodenware, cutting blocks

Size

Height

  • To 35 m 

Diameter

  • To 90 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - black maple

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Straight
  • Often branch-free for two-thirds or more of height

Crown

  • Narrow, round-topped

Root system

  • Deep, wide-spreading

Habitat

Site

  • Moist, fertile floodplains and bottomlands

Light tolerance

  • Tolerates heavy shade for many years
  • Grows normally when released by an opening in the canopy

Associated species

  • Usually mixed with other broadleaf species, as well as eastern white pine and eastern hemlock

Range

Southern Ontario and Quebec

Photos
  • Black maple
Distribution map
Distribution map - black maple
Date modified: