Differences in native habitat and leaf morphological traits have prompted speculation that black maple (Acer nigrum Michx.f.) is more drought resistant than sugar maple (A. saccharum Marsh.). In this study, growth of potted seedlings of the two species irrigated at 10-, 26-, or 42-day intervals was compared. For plants irrigated most frequently, dry mass, shoot: root ratio, stem length, and surface area of lamina were greater for sugar maple than black maple. The impact of drought was more pronounced in sugar maple than in black maple, causing reductions in stem length of ≈ 60% in sugar maple and ≈ 30% in black maple. Specific mass of lamina tended to be greater for black maple than sugar maple, particularly after drought, and it increased over time in both species. The slower growth, lower shoot: root ratio, and greater specific mass of lamina of black maple indicate. it is more drought resistant than sugar maple.