Black maple is a close relative of sugar maple (A. saccharum), the two being difficult to distinguish, with the black supposedly having darker bark and less sharply defined leaf lobes. It is distinctly more southern in its range but has nevertheless grown well at Mustila from seed collected at Guelph in south Ontario in 1992. It is said to be very drought-tolerant, and hardy in both the heat and the cold of the American Midwest.
In America the black maple can grow up to 40 metres but in Finland remains considerably smaller. Like the sugar maple, it has showy autumn colour and its sap can be used to make maple syrup.