Back to Species Guide

The creamy white sapwood of the Hard Maple is often tinged with pink or pale reddish-brown tones. The heartwood is more red in color, varying from light to dark reddish-brown. The growth rings produce a very fine brown line throughout the wood. The grain of Hard Maple is tight with a fine texture, and usually straight, although several variations of curly or burled grain, which are most desirable, can be found in some Hard Maples. The burled wood resembles small circular or elliptical figures, that also are called birds-eye, and when more irregular in nature are called fiddleback.

Formal Name: Acer Saccharum


The Hard Maple is a cold-climate tree, and grows abundantly in the northeastern United States, middle Atlantic states, and throughout the Great Lakes region, as well as in areas of eastern Canada. It is a popular and abundant American hardwood.

Working Properties

Hard Maple can be difficult to work, blunting tools slightly. The wood dries slowly and shrinks extensively, which must be taken into consideration. Pre-boring is recommended prior to nailing or screwing. The wood is hard and heavy with good resistance to abrasion and indentation. Hard Maple takes stain and polishes well to produce a beautiful, fine finish.

Main Uses

Hard Maple is a popular choice for furniture, cabinets, countertops and musical instruments. Hard Maple is used for cutting boards, bowls and other kitchenware, since it carries no taste and holds up well.