Full-sized shade-tolerant tree, closely related to Sugar Maple. In eastern Ontario, uncommon but widespread and can be locally abundant especially on favoured habitat of low rich soil of floodplains, often wetter than preferred/tolerated by Sugar Maple. Sometimes found on drier uplands and appears to do better along roadsides and in urban areas than Sugar Maple.
Leaves are generally large and with thick leathery texture, often less sharply lobed than Sugar Maple, tending to curve downwards at margins, with downy hairs on leaf undersides and along petiole, petioles long and often with stipules at base. Compared to Sugar Maple, twigs thicker, buds often blunter, lenticels more prominent. Bark often scalier or more corrugated than Sugar Maple.