Acer nigrum

Acer nigrum - Black Maple. photo by UGA Herbarium
size=+1> Marsh M. Duncan

Common Name:
Black Maple

Higher Taxa:

Order: Sapindales
Family: Aceraceae
Genus: Acer
Species: Acer nigrum


The Black Maple is often mistaken for the Sugar Maple. Some have considered the Black Maple a variety of the Sugar Maple. It is a medium sized tree, up to 80' tall and up to 2-3' in diameter. The leaves of the Black Maple, although similar to the Sugar Maple, often have two stipules at the base of the petiole, the margins are more wavy and the leaf hangs more droopily from the twig. The characteristic bark is black and more deeply furrowed than the Sugar Maple (Brown C.L. and Kirkman, K).


Although the Black Maple has been identified in the northern most tips of Georgia, it is more prevalent in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. It is also common in Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.
The Black Maple is generally found in deep rich woods, and is considered very rare.

Natural History:

May-June; June-Sept. Rich woods, very rare; Ashe, Madison, Swain, Yancy Cos.,N.C.[Va., Tenn., Ky.](Radford, Albert E. and Ashles, Harry E.)

How to Encounter:

The Black Maple is often confused with the Sugar Maple. Althought the leaves are yellowish-green underneath and more than 9cm long.
It has been documented in Dade County, Georgia.

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