NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Acer saccharum

Northern Sugar Maple, Hard Maple, Sugar Tree

Scientific Name:

Acer saccharum



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Northern Sugar Maple, Hard Maple, Sugar Tree

Life Cycle


Plant Family

Sapindaceae (Soapberry Family)


NC Native

Invasive Status:



36-72 ft., 72-100 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Yellow, Green


Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Bloom Time:

April, May, June

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont

Habitat Description:

Cove forests, other rich forests, especially over mafic and calcareous rocks, on calcareous soils common and typical in dry-mesic forests and dry woodlands as well, less typically extending to high elevation northern hardwood forests where sometimes in acidic situations (as in Highlands County, VA), in parts of the Piedmont perhaps more common as an introduction by ornamental planting than as a native, at least south of VA. Rare in NC mountains and piedmont.

Leaf Arrangement:


Leaf Retention:


Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:


Life Cycle:


Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)


Less heat-tolerant than Southern Sugar Maple (Acer floridanum).

A cultivated specimen at Colonial Williamsburg, VA

The Scientific Name is Acer saccharum. You will likely hear them called Northern Sugar Maple, Hard Maple, Sugar Tree. This picture shows the A cultivated specimen at Colonial Williamsburg, VA of Acer saccharum

Larry Mellichamp


USDA PLANTS Database Record

NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox:

Go Botany:

Vascular Flora of NC: [type Acer saccharum in the Scientific Name box, then click on the Search button]

700 Bird-friendly Plants for NC:

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