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Black Maple




=Habitat and Range.=--Low, damp ground on which, in New England at

least, the sugar maple is rarely if ever seen, or upon moist, rocky

slopes.



Apparently a common tree from Ottawa westward throughout Ontario.



The New England specimens, with the exception of those from the

Champlain valley, appear to be dubious intermediates between the type

and the variety.



Maine,--the Rangeley lake region; New Hampshire,--occasional near the

Connecticut river; Vermont,--frequent in the western part in the

Champlain valley, occasional in all other sections, especially in the

vicinity of the Connecticut; Massachusetts,--occasional in the

Connecticut river valley and westward, doubtfully reported from eastern

sections; Rhode Island,--doubtful, resting on the authority of Colonel

Olney's list; Connecticut,--doubtfully reported.



South along the Alleghanies to the Gulf states; west to the 95th

meridian.



The extreme forms of nigrum show well-marked varietal differences; but

there are few, if any, constant characters. Further research in the

field is necessary to determine the status of these interesting plants.



=Habit.=--The black maple is somewhat smaller than the sugar maple, the

bark is darker and the foliage more sombre. It generally has a

symmetrical outline, which it retains to old age.



=Leaves.=--The fully grown leaves are often larger than those of the

type, darker green above, edges sometimes drooping, width equal to or

exceeding the length, 5-lobed, margin blunt-toothed, wavy-toothed, or

entire, the two lower lobes small, often reduced to a curve in the

outline, broad at the base, which is usually heart-shaped; texture firm;

the lengthening scales of the opening leaves, the young shoots, the

petioles, and the leaves themselves are covered with a downy to a

densely woolly pubescence. As the parts mature, the woolliness usually

disappears, except along the midrib and principal veins, which become

almost glabrous.



=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England, preferring a

moist, fertile, gravelly loam; young trees are rather more vigorous than

those of the sugar maple, and easily transplanted. Difficult to secure,

for it is seldom offered for sale or recognized by nurseries, although

occasionally found mixed with the sugar maple in nursery rows.






1. Fruiting branch.





=Acer spicatum, Lam.=






Next: Mountain Maple

Previous: Silver Maple Soft Maple White Maple River Maple



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