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Information on the Sugar Maple Tree

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Information on the Sugar Maple Tree

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Overview

Few trees are more useful than the sugar maple. The sugar maple produces the sap for maple syrup, as well as wood for building and heating. The sugar maple is the state tree of New York, and the leaf appears prominently on the Canadian flag.

Sugar maple leaves image by "Intensity" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Sabby3000 ::travel mode:: be back soon! (Sabrina Mae) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Geography

The sugar maple is a native species of the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lake states. Its range extends well into the southern part of eastern Canada.

Size

The largest specimen on record grew to be 110 feet tall in Bethany, West Virginia, according to the Cornell Education website. The typical sugar maple is between 70 and 90 feet tall.

Features

The leaves on a sugar maple typically have five separate lobes and are from 3 to 5 inches long. They are dark green on the top side and paler beneath, turning combinations of yellow, orange and red in autumn before falling off.

Uses

The wood of the sugar maple is integral in making cabinets, flooring and furniture. You can also use it in wood boilers and stoves as a heating source.

Collecting sap image by "Sweet Bucket" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: psd (Paul Downey) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Fun Fact

To make maple syrup, tap the sugar maple tree and collect its sap in the late winter and early spring. The process involves drilling holes into the trunk of the maple and setting up a system of tubes to allow the sap to run into a storage tank or bucket.

References

  • Cornell University
  • Cornell University Extension
  • Field Guide to Trees of North America; C. Frank Brockman; 1986
Keywords: sugar maple tree, tapping sap syrup, Canadian flag

About this Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.

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