Medium-sized to large tree with a dense, oval-round crown. It can eventually reach a height of up to 40 m. In America specimen of 40 m are indeed found. There, the tree is also used for the production of sugar. It rarely reaches a spread of more than 10 m. The pointed buds are brown. The long and wide leaf is bright green and turns into orange and red hues in autumn. Both the habit and the shape of the leaf resemble those of A. platanoides. The difference being that a bruised leaf of A. saccharum does not produce milky sap but a clear liquid. The inflorescence is simultaneous with the unfurling of the leaf. The rooting is shallow with many branching roots. Though the sugar maple thrives in many soils, a wet soil is unsuitable for a healthy growth. The tree is not tolerant to stagnating water. Sensitive to salt for icy roads. Intolerant to hard surfaces.