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Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Acer nigrum
Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser sah-KAY-rum NY-grum
Description

Black Maple is a large deciduous tree native to Eastern and Central USA and can be found in the mountains of NC. It typically grows 60 to 80 feet tall with a rounded crown. It differs from A. saccharum (sugar maple) buy having darker bark, leafy stipules at the base of leaf stems and leaves that are 3-lobed and a darker green. The fall color is in attractive shades of red, orange and yellow. The tree can be tapped to make maple syrup.

Black Maple can be grown in well-drained, moist, average soil in full sun to partial shade. Use as a large shade tree, street tree or in parks.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#fall color#yellow#orange#tree#maple
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#deciduous#fall color#yellow#orange#tree#maple
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    saccharum subsp. nigrum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wood used in construction and making furniture.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and central USA
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides shelter, nesting sites and birds will eat the seeds. Many insects feed off parts of the tree.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat and drought tolerant.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Clusters of paired samaras (to 1” long) that mature in late summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Male flowers are yellow-green in 2-4 inch long drooping umbels. Female flowers are similar but umbels are shorter.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3 to 6 in. opposite, simple leaves with 3-5 palmate lobes and an orbicular outline. Leaves are drooping, and leathery. Fall color is in reds, oranges and yellows.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Bark Description:
    The trunk bark is grayish-brown or grayish black, becoming rougher and irregularly furrowed with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Branch bark is gray and more smooth, while twigs are various shades of gray or brown, glabrous, and covered with scattered white lenticels. Buds are reddish-brown with some green and with fine hair. Terminal buds are multiple
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators