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Black Maple (Acer nigrum Michx. f.)

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Black Maple
Photo © Scott Sampson, CC BY 4.0.


A tree native to eastern North America, closely related to, but less common than the sugar maple.

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Native or Not Present
Native or Expanded
Native or Expanded or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

Similar Plants

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Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
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Mostly found in mixed hardwood forests, especially in well-drained portions of river valleys and bottomlands. Found in oak-hickory, maple-beech-birch, and maple-basswood forest associations. Becomes more common in the west, where it is better-adapted to the warmer, drier climate.

Like sugar maple, it is highly shade-tolerant and generally limited to sites that are moist but well-drained and aerated, sometimes found on slopes. Slightly more tolerant of wet soils, and significantly more tolerant of alkaline soils. Often found on limestone soils.


The wood is similar to sugar maple and typically grouped in with it and sold together as "hard maple".

Also used as a landscaping plant, where it is valued for its greater tolerance of heat, drought, and exposed conditions relative to sugar maple.

It can also be used to generate maple syrup with a yield and quality similar to that from sugar maple.

Closely related to sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and sometimes considered the same species. Hybridizes with this species; hybrids have intermediate characteristics and can be hard to identify. The pure species are usually easily distinguished by the black maple having three-lobed leaves.

Black Maple | The Wood Database (About This Site)

Acer nigrum (Black Maple) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Acer nigrum (Black Maple) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Acer nigrum | Go Botany (About This Site)

Black Maple | iNaturalist (About This Site)

Black Maple | Virginia Tech Dendrology Factsheets (About This Site)

Black Maple | Silvics of North America (About This Site)

Acer nigrum | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Acer nigrum | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Black Maple | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Photo gallery

Photo © Reuven Martin, Public Domain.
Photo © Reuven Martin, Public Domain.
Photo © askalotl, Public Domain.
Photo © Nate Martineau, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Scott Sampson, CC BY 4.0.