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Sugar Maple

Scientific name

Acer saccharum


Canada's national tree, the Sugar Maple, is the famous maple syrup producer. This species has the most well-known leaf shape as it is at the centre of the Canadian flag. Leaves produced are arranged opposite to each other and have five lobes or sometimes three with few, irregular teeth. The leaf, is an easy way to differentiate between maple species. The best way to identify a Sugar Maple from a Red or Silver Maple is to look at the notches between the lobes. A Sugar Maple will have a "U" shaped notch, similar to the curve that is made when you make an "L" with your thumb and forefinger. A Red Maple will have a "V" shaped notch, similar to when you separate two of your fingers. Silver Maples have very deep, narrow notches. A common sight around maple trees is the presence of seed keys. Sugar Maple seeds are dispersed by wind, therefore the seeds are encased by a winged capsule, hanging off the tree by a long, slender stalk, usually in groups of two. This species bark is smooth and grey, becoming dark grey and separated into long, vertical ridges which are usually curled outward along one side. Sugar Maples prefer deep, moist, well-drained soils and are often found amongst Yellow Birch, Red Oak, Red Maple, Basswood, and Eastern Hemlock. Sugar Maples produce a hard lumber used for making furniture, cabinets, flooring, and plywood.

Planting conditions

Plant in deep, rich, dry or moist, well-drained soil.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 12-35m
  • Spread:
    • 5m