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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.