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1/5

Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum

Rock Maple, Hard Maple (Eng.)

1/5

Sugar Maple is a deciduous tree normally reaching heights of 25–35 m tall and rarely 45 m. When healthy, the sugar maple can live for over 400 years. The leaves are deciduous, up to 20 cm wide and tall, with five palmate lobes. The fall color is stunning, ranging from bright yellow to orange to fluorescent red-orange and the trees have a tendency to color unevenly in fall. In some trees, a multitude of fall colours can be seen at the same time. The sugar maple is most easily identified by clear sap in the leaf petiole, brown, sharp-tipped buds, and shaggy bark on older trees. The monoecious (male and female) flowers are yellow-green and without petals and flowering occurs in early spring. The sugar maple will generally begin flowering when it is between 10 to 15 years old. The fruit is a double samara with two winged spherical seeds. The seeds fall in autumn, where they are exposed to 90 days of temperatures below -18 °C to break their coating down. Germination is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past. Sugar maples engage in hydraulic lift, drawing water from lower soil layers and exuding that water into upper, drier soil layers which not only benefits the tree but surrounding plants as well. Sugar maple is best known for its bright fall foliage and for being the primary source of maple syrup. Edible parts of the tree include the inner bark, leaves, sap, and the seed. Uses: Source for making maple syrup. Wood used for furniture and flooring. Ornamental. Fuel. Medicinal

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Seeds are mature when the samaras turn yellowish green and begin falling, usually just before the leaves fall.

Propagation

Seed
The seeds fall in autumn, where they are exposed to 90 days of temperatures below -18 °C to break their coating down. Germination is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past. Sugar maples engage in hydraulic lift, drawing water from lower soil layers and exuding that water into upper, drier soil layers which not only benefits the tree but surrounding plants as well.
Cuttings
Take hardwood cuttings in Winter.

Special features

Autumn colour
Excellent for autumn colour.

Geography

Origin
Canada
Natural climate
Sub-arctic, Humid continental, Semi-arid

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
Maple syrup is tapped from the layer just underneath the tree bark. A tap is placed and left in the tree while a hanging bucket collects therunning fluid.
Wood
Wood used for furniture and flooring.

Personality

Family
Sapindaceae
Flower colour
, Yellow, Green
Scent
None

Problems

Generally problem free.

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