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Sugar Maple


Family:  Aceraceae, maple family
Genus, species:  Acer saccharum 

Leaf has five wide-lobed notches, palmately veined and lobed. Basal lobes are smaller, upper lobes are larger and deeply notched.

Bark is smooth, gray to pale tan when young, becomes dark gray and shaggy as the tree ages.

Flowers are yellow-green in color, no petals. Each flower hangs on a long slender stalk. Flowering occurs in early spring before tree produces leaves. Male and female flowers are separate but on same tree (monoecious).

Fruit is wing-shaped, contains two seeds. Fruit is wind-dispersed, floats and spins like a helicopter.

More Information:

The genus name Acer is from the Latin for "sharp," referring to the sharply pointed lobes on the leaves.  The species name saccharum is from the Latin for "sugar."