Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 4 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Norway Maple and Sugar Maple

Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) vs. Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Updated January 20th, 2021

These plants are often confused due to similarity in leaf shape and occurrence in the same habitat; they are easily distinguished by samaras, flowers, mature tree bark, buds, or the presence/absence of milky sap. Leaf shape can be distinguished, but is best supplemented by other cues. Although there is much overlap in habitat, Norway maple is found on a broader range of sites, including disturbed habitats, whereas sugar maple is more limited to rich, mesic sites.

View Full Guide

collage of Sugar Maple and Black Maple

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) vs. Black Maple (Acer nigrum)

Updated December 6th, 2019

Sugar maple and black maple are difficult to distinguish and were once considered varieties of the same species. They are also able to hybridize and form intergrades, so not all individuals will be able to be identified as one or the other. Many trees, however, can be definitively identified by characteristics of their leaves. Both species, as well as hybrids and intergrades of unknown origin, are used in landscaping, so escaped landscaping plants may have characteristics of either or both species. The bark of both species is variable and irregular but there are some patterns that can be a clue to aid ID.

View Full Guide

collage of Red Maple and Sugar Maple

Red Maple (Acer rubrum) vs. Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Updated October 23rd, 2019

Red maple has a highly variable leaf shape, and some can look similar to sugar maple, but they are easily distinguished by serrations and the color of the leaf underside. In winter, buds are easily distinguished. Samaras are also distinctive.

View Full Guide

The other guide is not yet completed and published.