Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

Sugar maple photograph; ? MN DNR, Welby Smith


Height 80' or more with a diameter of up to 24" or more; symmetrically rounded crown.


On young trees light gray to brown and somewhat smooth; on older trees gray to almost black with irregular plates or scales. Twigs are smooth and reddish brown with sharp-pointed winter buds.


Simple, opposite on stem, length 3" to 5"; three- to five-pointed, smooth-edged lobes; division between lobes rounded; dark green on upper surface, lighter green below; in autumn turns to brilliant shades of dark red, scarlet, orange, or yellow.

Fruit (seed)

Consists of two slightly connected wings (samaras), each containing one seed; length about 1"; easily carried by the wind.


Grows in cool, rich locations in the eastern half of the state; very shade tolerant, slow growing.