Black Maple Trees

Black Maple is also known as Black Sugar Maple, Hard Maple and Rock Maple.  The sap is used for maple syrup, and the wood for hard maple timber.


Acer Nigrum Black Maple

  • Zones:  4-7
  • Full Sun
  • Height: 80-100’
  • Spread: 40-60’
  • Shape:  Dense elliptical to rounded crown
  • Growth Rate:  Slow to moderate, reaches about 28’ in 20 years
  • Soil Preference:  Somewhat adaptable prefering dry to moist well drained soil, prefers average pH
  • Moisture:  Average moisture requirement, moderately drought tolerant
  • Foliage: Green leaves are often somewhat wilted looking and 3 lobed, rather than the 5 of the Sugar Maple.  Leaves are dark above and lighter on the underside with fine hairs.
  • Blooms:  Inconspicous yellow flowers clusters in late spring
  • Fruit:  Clusters of brown, small double winged samaras

Black Maple is native to the central Midwest, Northeast and into Canada.  Use as an ornamental tree is limited, seen only occasionally as a lawn tree, but is available commercially.  The trunk is tall and straight with widely spreading branches when grown in the open.  It is a very attractive tree, but can inhibit growth of nearby plants.  Black Maple can adapt to nearly all soil types and will do well in heavy clay.  It is not tolerant to salt.  Growth is rapid when young and then slows, living for up to 200 years.  Young Black Maple trees are enjoyed by deer, and the seeds attract birds.  Autumn foliage is bright yellow sometimes with orange-red.  Since Black Maple is so similar to the Sugar Maple, it is hard to understand why it is not more widely used as specimen and shade trees.

TreesSharon Dwyer