A medium to large tree with a large, round crown.
Leaves opposite, simple, 3–6 inches long, triangular overall, sometimes wider than long, usually 5-lobed but sometimes 3-lobed; lobes mostly entire or irregularly toothed, the tips pointed, sinuses U-shaped, upper surface dark green, lower surface paler and whitish, smooth except for tufts of hairs at the vein axils.
Bark smooth and gray on young trees, later darker with grooves and irregular scaly plates.
Twigs slender, shiny, smooth, green at first, reddish-brown later; pores conspicuous, pale; bud tips sharp-pointed.
Flowers April–May, with male and female flowers commonly on the same tree (sometimes on separate trees), borne on long, hairy, drooping stalks, appearing as the leaves are expanding.
Fruit matures August–October, reddish-brown, samaras (winged fruits) in pairs, each wing ¾–1½ inches long.