- Deciduous tree, 60-75(100) ft [18-23(30) m], ascending branches, upright oval, twigs of small diam. With age bark becomes furrowed, with long irregular thick plates or ridges. Leaves opposite, simple, 7.5-15 cm long and across, 3-5 lobed, narrow and deep sinuses,tip acuminate, base cordate, margin slightly coarsely toothed, generally dark green above (but variable), pale green to light green below; petiole usually 5-7.5 cm long; fall color varies from brilliant yellow, burnt orange and red tones (a comparison with a Red Maple). Flowers perfect, small, without petals, greenish yellow, on 2.5-7.5 long, thin, pedulous, stalks (pedicels), appear before leaves. Fruit are paired, winged (samara), relatively small (< 2.5 cm long), glabrous, somewhat horseshoe-shaped, matures in Sept.-Oct. Winter tree form shows long shoots, but the side shoots are not short as in Red Maple (A. rubrum).
- Sun to part shade. Often seen in the forest under a canopy. Prefers well-drained, moderately moist, fertile soil. Does not perform well in compacted or restricted areas. Susceptible to salt injury.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native from the Maritime provinces and southern parts of Ontario and Quebec, New York, and south to Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.
- saccharum: Latin name for sugar cane. Maple syrup is made from the sap of this tree. About 40 liters of sap are required to make 1 liter of syrup.
- The national tree of Canada; a stylized version of its leaf is the central feature of the Canadian flag.
- Sometimes confused with Acer platanoides, Norway Maple, see comparison.
- Corvallis: young tree on the south side of the small central circle in Central Park, north of the play area.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: several on the east and south of Sackett dorm.