Sugar Maple Acer saccharum
Family: Aceraceae (Maple)
Branching: Opposite

The most common maple of upland forests (in southern Ontario) and also the source of Maple syrup.   Often if can be identified by the bark, but the twigs are the best bet.  They are usually brownish in colour, thinner than the other maples and the buds are more pointed with more scales.  Black Maple is similar, but had noticeably hairy buds and leaf undersides (which can often be found under the tree in the winter)  

Sugar Maple twig.  Usually brown in colour, thinner and with more pointy buds than other maples.

Sugar Maple twig.  Twig colour is usually more brown than Norway Maple and Sugar Maple buds
are the most pointed of all the maples.

The leaf scars do not meet around the twig.

Another view of the Sugar maple winter twig

Another view of a Sugar Maple twig (this one is a little redder than normal)

Young bark

Middle-aged bark.  

Another view of the bark just beginning to acquire the characteristic vertical "split" on the right-hand side

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copyright 2008 Josh Sayers
please email me with any questions, comments, or errors