Sugar Maple Tree

The high sugar content of the Sugar Maple’s sap makes it ideal for tapping. The presence of the Sugar Maple leaf on the Canadian flag illustrates the importance of this tree in Canada.

Sugar Maples can be identified based on the following characteristics:


The Sugar Maple grows to approximately 100 feet tall. Fall color ranges from bright yellow, orange, to a fluorescent red-orange. Can live over 200 years.


Southeastern Canada, Northeastern United States, extending south to Tennessee.


The bark on young trees is dark grey. On mature trees, the bark is dark brown and has developed vertical grooves and ridges.


The leaf is rounded at the base, extending to generally 5 lobes without fine teeth (compared to Red and Silver Maples). The color is bright green, with a paler green underside.

Twig / Bud

The twig is somewhat shiny, brown, and slender. This smooth twig generates a bud 1/4 to 3/8 inch long, conical, pointed, and brown in color.


The seeds join each other in a straight line, while the wings are separated by approximately 60 degrees. Each winged seed is about 1 inch long. The fruit matures in the fall.

Content on this page is reproduced with permission from the Cornell Maple Program and Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.
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