Black Maple Tree

The Black Maple resembles the Sugar Maple and is often considered in the same family as the Sugar Maple. The most significant difference is the 3-lobed leaf of the Black Maple versus the 5-lobed leaf of the Sugar Maple.

Black Maples can be identified based on the following characteristics:


The Black Maple grows to approximately 100 feet tall. Fall color ranges from bright yellow, orange, or a red-orange. Can live over 200 years.

Black Maple Tree


Southeastern Quebec, to Northern Wisconsin, to Tennessee. Grows in a subset of where the Sugar Maple can be found.

black maple tree geography


The bark is similar to the Sugar Maple, but a bit darker and with deeper grooves.

Black Maple


Similar to the Sugar Maple, but with 3 lobes instead of 5. The leaf often appears to be drooping.

black maple leaf

Twig / Bud

The twig is somewhat shiny, brown, and slender, with small warty growths. Older twigs will have a waxy coating. Buds are conical, pointed, brown in color, and often hairy.

black maple tree twig


Similar to the Sugar Maple, with a slightly larger seed. The fruit matures in the fall.

black maple tree fruit

Content on this page is reproduced with permission from the Cornell Maple Program and Massachusetts Maple Producers Association. Black Maple seed photo by Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.​