The Aceraceae family includes some ten species of the genus Acer found in North America, but of these, only about five species are important sources of maple timber; two of these produce rock maple and these are given below.
Acer saccharum Marsh. produces rock maple, hard maple or sugar maple.
A. nigrum Michx f. produces black maple, rock or hard maple.
Hard maple is strong, heavy, hard, straight-grained and fine textured. The heartwood is light reddish-brown with deeper-coloured late-wood bands. The sapwood is white in colour, and furnishes the white maple prized for certain uses. It differs mainly from the soft maples in its greater density and firmer texture.