Acer saccharum is the botanical name of sugar maple. It is a deciduous tree normally reaching heights of 25–35 m (82–115 ft) tall, and exceptionally up to 45 m (150 feet). A 10-year-old tree is typically about 5 m (15 ft) tall.
The leaves are deciduous, 8–15 cm long and equally wide with five palmate lobes. The basal lobes are relatively small, while the upper lobes are larger and deeply notched.
The fruit is a double samara with two winged seeds, the seeds are globose, 7–10 mm diameter, the wing 2–3 cm long. The seeds fall from the tree in fall.
Acer nigrum is the botanical name of black maple (also called black sugar maple, hard maple, or rock maple,) which is a species of maple closely related to Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) in habit, range, and quality and use of wood. Black maple grows rapidly in early life, then slowly and may live 200 years.
Identification can be confusing due to the tendency of the two species to form hybrids. The simplest and most accurate method for distinguishing between the two trees is the three-lobed leaves of the black maple versus the five-lobed leaves of the sugar maple. The leaves of the black maple also tend to have a "droopy" appearance. Other differences that are not as pronounced include darker, more deeply grooved bark, slightly
smaller seeds, and thicker petioles.