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Hard Maple : (Acer nigrum)

Hard Maple

Common Names

Black Maple

Black Sugar Maple

Hard Maple

Hard Rock Maple


Rock Maple

Sugar Maple

Physical Profile

Sapwood Color

The sapwood is white with a reddish tinge.

Heartwood Color

The heartwood color is uniformly light reddish brown.


Straight but occasionally curly or wavy. Bird's-eye figure is occasionally present. Flecks caused by insects may also be present in the wood.


The wood is very fine and even textured.


There is no distinct odor or taste.

Movement in Service

Black maple is reported to have medium dimensional stability after seasoning, and tends to move moderately in use.


Planing properties of Black maple are reported to be fair at best.


The material is reported to have good turning characteristics.


The timber is reported to bore readily and cleanly.


The wood is reported to respond very well to mortising.


The material is reported to be fairly difficult to glue.


The wood is reported to be difficult to sand to a smooth surface.


Not Available


Staining properties are reported to be good.


Not Available

Steam Bending

Steam bending characteristics are rated as only fair.

Response to Hand Tools

Not Available

Miscellaneous Comments The two hard maples, Black maple and Sugar maple, are reported to be very difficult to differentiate. They are reported to be up to 25 percent harder than the soft maples, and are used more often for visible parts of furniture. They are also valued for their strength, wear resistance and beauty, which make them a popular choice for applications such as, flooring in high volume traffic areas.