This is growing in my backyard. Is it a maple? It looks a little maple-y, but Google Image comparisons were inconclusive, and there aren't any maples nearby that might have dropped a seed.


1 Answer 1


This looks like maple, could be Acer pseudoplatanus. But hard to be sure at this stage. You could update with more photos when leaves are completely unfolded.

By the way, I am not sure if this is a seedling though. It could be in its second year already since I don't see any cotyledons.

  • To clarify, A. pseudoplatanus is called a Sycamore Maple, which is rather rare in the US and Canada. If you live in North America, the seedling could also be a true sycamore ( Platanus occidentalis), which has interesting bark when it gets older, or a Norway maple (A. platanoides). It's definitely a yearling, not a seedling. Where do you live?
    – Jurp
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 15:26
  • Northeastern US.
    – crmdgn
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 16:31
  • I didn't realize the Sycamore Maple is rare in the US, here in Europe I think it is the most commonly spread out in the wild. Usually when I find seedlings of Maple here in the Netherlands, they are the Sycamore kind. If you have more mature leaves, you could see the differences, I remember a previous post here on SE.
    – benn
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 16:50
  • In the UK A. pseudoplatanus is just called the Sycamore, without any reference to "Maple". It is actually the third most widely distributed tree species in the UK, after Ash (before Ash dieback disease took hold) and Hawthorn - and has a bit of a reputation of being an invasive weed.
    – alephzero
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 17:03
  • Since you live in NE US, it IS possible that you have a Sycamore Maple (New England are really the only states they're found wild in - and then only in a few counties). Of course, you could have a seedling of a domestic tree. Check out the USDA's Plants Database map: plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ACPS and see if your county is in the light blue (click on the map and then scroll and/or move the cursor)
    – Jurp
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 21:51

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