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Lawn & Garden

Black Maple, Acer saccharum nigrum

Common Name: Black maple

Type: tree

Family: Sapindaceae

Zone: 3 to 8      Find Your Zone

Height: 40 to 80 feet

Width: 40 to 60 feet

Bloom Time: April

Bloom Color: Greenish

Sun exposure: full sun to part shade

Fall Color: yellow-orange

Soil: well drained, medium moisture

Leaves: deciduous

Fertilizer: Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen or Miracle Gro Evergreen Tree Spikes


Being a sub-species of sugar maple, this tree is renowned for its production of maple syrup and its brilliant fall color. This tree is typically found on slopes and ravines or along streams and dense woods. This tree has a massive canopy, therefore it is recommended that you don’t put it right in front of the house. This tree has darker bark and leaves than the sugar maple and 3 lobes on the leaf rather than sugar maples 5 lobes . This tree is certainly not as quick of a grower as the Red Maple but makes up for it with its fall color which creates some towns economies with their "tree gazing" in the fall.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.
  • When planting trees, a tree stake kit may be required to prevent the wind from blowing over or breaking our newly planted tree until it becomes established.

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Related Articles:

How To Tap a Tree For Maple Syrup

Types of Maple Trees

25 plants and trees with great fall color

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Posted 2015-10-04T16:47:33+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL