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The next three trees provide an unusual opportunity to observe three similar maple species at the same location. 

Unfortunately, we have lost this sugar maple tree.  It may be replaced at some point in the future.  Keep your eyes out for other sugar maples along the way - there are many!

Sugar maple and black maple are very similar in appearance.  In fact, some taxonomists consider them both as subspecies of Acer saccharum.  The lobes of sugar maple leaves have smooth margins and overall the leaves are flat.  The tips of black maple leaf lobes tend to droop.  The small lobes nearest the base of sugar maple leaves tend to be larger than those of black maple, where they may be nearly absent.  The winged fruits of sugar maple (and black maple) are of equal size, in contrast to the fruits of silver maple.  The bark of large sugar maple trees is very distinctive.  It is gray, with vertical plates that are raised at the edge. 

Sugar maples are a common tree in this area and are found in a wide variety of habitats.  They are one of the most common trees on the Vanderbilt campus. 

The next tree is across the entry sidewalk.  next tree