Trees of Wisconsin

Acer saccharum Marsh.
sugar maple
Family: Aceraceae
tree, summer tree, fall branch leaf flowers buds bark

Acer saccharum is very similar to Acer nigrum ( Black Maple), and the two are sometimes considered to be varieties of the same species. See the description of Acer nigrum for distinguishing characteristics. Leaves of Acer saccharum are also roughly similar to Acer platanoides (Norway maple). The two species can be easily distinguished by their buds and fruits (samaras) and by the color of the sap (clear for Acer saccharum, milky for Acer platanoides.

Acer saccharum is a major forest tree in Wisconsin and is often the dominant in upland forests with moderate moisture (mesic forests). Seedlings and saplings can tolerate relatively dark shade for many years and may be numerous in the understory of mesic forests. Individual trees may live 300-400 years if they reach the canopy layer. Flowering begins in late April or early May in the Green Bay area. It is well known as the source of sap to make maple syrup.

The range of Acer saccharum extends from Ontario and eastern Minnesota and Iowa to Missouri, east to Tennesee and Virginia and then north through New England and the maritime provinces of Canada. It is found throughout Wisconsin.

known Wisconsin distribution


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