Acer nigrum is much like A. saccharum. Distinguished by darker, more deeply furrowed bark.
Leaves darker green, duller above, often finely hairy below, sides and tip often drooping, lowest lobes often reduced or none, lobes usually with fewer, shorter, blunt teeth, central lobe tapered from base.
Flowers pale yellow-green, small, in wispy clusters, April-May, wind pollinated, (not reproductive before about 20 yrs).
Fruit dry thin, flat, winged seeds (samaras) joined end-to end, ripens in Sept.-Oct., wind dispersed, seeds eaten by white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) (Ostfeld et al. 1997). Twigs, buds and seeds eaten by squirrels (Martin et al. 1951). Seeds apparently do not persist more than one year and generally need disturbed sites in which to germinate (Hughs and Fahey 1988).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in New York City: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Usually in more moist habitats than A. saccharum.