black maple Aceraceae Acer
nigrum Michx. f. symbol: ACNI5
Leaf: Opposite, simple and palmately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, 3 (occasionally 5) lobed with entire margin, often wilted-looking, large stipules may be present, with pubescence on the underside.
Flower: Yellow to green, small, clustered, hanging from a long (1 to 3 inch) stem, appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Two-winged horseshoe-shaped samaras about 1 inch long, appearing in clusters, matures in autumn.
Twig: Brown, slender to moderate and shiny with lighter lenticels, may be gray pubescent, especially near the terminal buds. Terminal buds brown (may be pubescent), plump, and very sharp pointed.
Bark: Variable, but generally dark gray-brown to black; older trees may be furrowed with long, thick, irregular ridges or scaly.
Form: Medium to tall tree (to 100 feet) with very dense elliptical crown.
Looks like: sugar maple - Florida maple - Norway maple - bigleaf maple
Additional Range Information: Acer nigrum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting black maple.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson