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Sugar maple

The golden leaves of a maple tree in autumn

Sugar maple

About the sugar maple tree

Sugar maple - Acer saccharum

Identification: Sugar maples can be identified by their five-lobed leaves, which are wider at the base. Leaves are dark yellow-green on top and lighter on the underside. Leaves turn yellow, orange or red in autumn. Sugar maples have dark gray bark with furrowed ridges. The fruit of a maple tree, commonly known as a “helicopter,” is called a samara. Inside the winged samara is the seed of the tree. The sugar maple’s samaras are nearly parallel and form a “u” shape.

Height: 60-75 feet 

Preferences: Shade or partial shade. Hardiness zones 3-8.

Wildlife value: Whitetail deer and rabbits browse on the buds and twigs of maples. Chipmunks, squirrels and other small mammals eat the seeds from maple samaras.

Uses: Sugar maples are the primary source of sap for making maple syrup and maple sugar due to their high sugar content (around 2%).

Learn about tapping trees and making maple syrup