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|Sugar maple foliage|
|Native range of Acer saccharum|
Acer saccharum, the sugar maple or rock maple, is a species of maple native to the hardwood forests of eastern Canada, from Nova Scotia west through southern Quebec, central and southern Ontario to southeastern Manitoba around Lake of the Woods, and the northern parts of the Central and Eastern United States, from Minnesota eastward to the highlands of the upper eastern states and the interior Midwest.Sugar maple is best known for its bright fall foliage and for being the primary source of maple syrup.
Acer is a genus of trees and shrubs commonly known as maple. The genus is placed in the family Sapindaceae. There are approximately 128 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a number also appearing in Europe, northern Africa, and North America. Only one species, Acer laurinum, extends to the Southern Hemisphere. The type species of the genus is the sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, the most common maple species in Europe. The maples have easily recognizable palmate leaves and distinctive winged fruits. The closest relatives of the maples are the horse chestnuts.
Central Ontario is a secondary region of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario that lies between Georgian Bay and the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province of Ontario, Canada, the other primary region being Northern Ontario. It is the most densely populated and southernmost region in Canada. The exact northern boundary of Southern Ontario is disputed; however, the core region is situated south of Algonquin Park, the latter being in an area of transition between coniferous forest north of the French and Mattawa Rivers and southern deciduous forest. It covers between 14 and 15% of the province, depending on the inclusion of the Parry Sound and Muskoka districts which also lie in the transitional area between northern and southern forest regions. With more than 12.7 million people, the region is home to approximately one-third of Canada's population of 35.1 million.
Acer saccharum is a deciduous tree normally reaching heights of 25–35 m (80–115 ft), and exceptionally up to 45 m (148 ft). A 10-year-old tree is typically about 5 m (16 ft) tall. Although heights of 120 feet are possible, few sugar maples exceed 70 feet. As with most trees, forest-grown sugar maples form a much taller trunk and narrower canopy than open-growth ones.
In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous (/dɪˈsɪdʒuəs/) means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, after flowering; and to the shedding of ripe fruit.
The leaves are deciduous, up to 20 cm (7.9 in) long and equally wide, with five palmate lobes. The basal lobes are relatively small, while the upper lobes are larger and deeply notched. In contrast with the angular notching of the silver maple, however, the notches tend to be rounded at their interior. The fall color is often spectacular, ranging from bright yellow on some trees through orange to fluorescent red-orange on others. Sugar maples also have a tendency to color unevenly in fall. In some trees, all colors above can be seen at the same time. They also share a tendency with red maples for certain parts of a mature tree to change color weeks ahead of or behind the remainder of the tree. The leaf buds are pointy and brown-colored. The recent year's growth twigs are green, and turn dark brown.
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant and is the principal lateral appendage of the stem. The leaves and stem together form the shoot. Leaves are collectively referred to as foliage, as in "autumn foliage".
The flowers are in panicles of five to 10 together, yellow-green and without petals; flowering occurs in early spring after 30–55 growing degree days. The sugar maple will generally begin flowering when it is between 10 and 15 years old. The fruit is a pair of samaras (winged seeds). The seeds are globose, 7–10 mm (9⁄32–13⁄32 in) in diameter, the wing 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1 1⁄4 in) long. The seeds fall from the tree in autumn, where they must be exposed to 45 days of temperatures below 4 °C (39 °F) to break their coating down. Germination of A. saccharum is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past. [ need quotation to verify ] It is closely related to the black maple, which is sometimes included in this species, but sometimes separated as Acer nigrum. The western American bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) is also treated as a variety or subspecies of sugar maple by some botanists.
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing or allow selfing. Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds.
A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence. Some authors distinguish it from a compound spike, by requiring that the flowers be pedicellate. The branches of a panicle are often racemes. A panicle may have determinate or indeterminate growth.
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They are often brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals, that collectively form the calyx and lie just beneath the corolla. The calyx and the corolla together make up the perianth. When the petals and sepals of a flower are difficult to distinguish, they are collectively called tepals. Examples of plants in which the term tepal is appropriate include genera such as Aloe and Tulipa. Conversely, genera such as Rosa and Phaseolus have well-distinguished sepals and petals. When the undifferentiated tepals resemble petals, they are referred to as "petaloid", as in petaloid monocots, orders of monocots with brightly coloured tepals. Since they include Liliales, an alternative name is lilioid monocots.
The sugar maple can be confused with the Norway maple, which is not native to America but is commonly planted in cities and suburbs, and they are not closely related within the genus. The sugar maple is most easily identified by clear sap in the leaf petiole (the Norway maple has white sap), brown, sharp-tipped buds (the Norway maple has blunt, green or reddish-purple buds), and shaggy bark on older trees (the Norway maple bark has small grooves). Also, the leaf lobes of the sugar maple have a more triangular shape, in contrast to the squarish lobes of the Norway maple.[ citation needed ]
In botany, the petiole is the stalk that attaches the leaf blade to the stem. Outgrowths appearing on each side of the petiole in some species are called stipules. Leaves lacking a petiole are called sessile or epetiolate.
Although many people think a red sugar maple leaf is featured on the flag of Canada, the official maple leaf does not belong to any particular maple species; although it perhaps most closely resembles a sugar maple leaf of all the maple species in Canada, the leaf on the flag was specially designed to be as identifiable as possible on a flag waving in the wind without regard to whether it resembled a particular species' foliage.
The maple leaf is the characteristic leaf of the maple tree, and is the most widely recognized "De Facto" national symbol of Canada.
The flag of Canada, often referred to as the Canadian flag, or unofficially as the Maple Leaf and l'Unifolié, is a national flag consisting of a red field with a white square at its centre in the ratio of 1:2:1, in the middle of which is featured a stylized, red, 11-pointed maple leaf charged in the centre. It is the first flag approved by Parliament for use as the country's national flag.
The sugar maple is an extremely important species to the ecology of many forests in the northern United States and Canada. Pure stands are common, and it is a major component of the northern and Midwestern U.S. hardwood forests.
The minimum seed-bearing age of sugar maple is about 20 years. The tree is long-lived, typically 200 years and occasionally as much as 300.
Sugar maple is native to areas with cooler climates and requires a hard freeze each winter for proper dormancy. In northern parts of its range, January temperatures average about −18 °C (0 °F) and July temperatures about 16 °C (61 °F); in southern parts, January temperatures average about 10 °C (50 °F) and July temperatures average almost 27 °C (81 °F). Seed germination also requires extremely low temperatures, the optimal being just slightly above freezing, and no other known tree species has this property. Germination of sugar maple seed in temperatures above 50 °F (10 °C) is rare to nonexistent.
Acer saccharum is among the most shade tolerant of large deciduous trees. Its shade tolerance is exceeded only by the striped maple, a smaller tree. Like other maples, its shade tolerance is manifested in its ability to germinate and persist under a closed canopy as an understory plant, and respond with rapid growth to the increased light formed by a gap in the canopy. Sugar maple can tolerate virtually any soil type short of pure sand, but does not tolerate xeric or swampy conditions.
Sugar maples are deeper-rooted than most maples and engage in hydraulic lift, drawing water from lower soil layers and exuding that water into upper, drier soil layers. This not only benefits the tree itself, but also many other plants growing around it.
Human influences have contributed to the decline of the sugar maple in many regions. Its role as a species of mature forests has led it to be replaced by more opportunistic species in areas where forests are cut over. Climate change has contributed to the decline of the sugar maple by pushing the suitable habitat range for the trees further north, where temperatures are cooler. This has resulted in a gradual northward migration of the species.The sugar maple also exhibits a greater susceptibility to pollution than other species of maple. Acid rain and soil acidification are some of the primary contributing factors to maple decline. Also, the increased use of salt over the last several decades on streets and roads for deicing purposes has decimated the sugar maple's role as a street tree.
In some parts of New England, particularly near urbanized areas, the sugar maple is being displaced by the Norway maple. The Norway maple is also highly shade tolerant, but is considerably more tolerant of urban conditions, resulting in the sugar maple's replacement in those areas. In addition, Norway maple produces much larger crops of seeds, allowing it to out-compete native species.
The sugar maple is one of the most important Canadian trees, being, with the black maple, the major source of sap for making maple syrup.Other maple species can be used as a sap source for maple syrup, but some have lower sugar contents and/or produce more cloudy syrup than these two. In maple syrup production from Acer saccharum, the sap is extracted from the trees using a tap placed into a hole drilled through the phloem, just inside the bark. The collected sap is then boiled. As the sap boils, the water is evaporated off and the syrup left behind. Forty gallons of maple sap are required to be boiled to produce only 1 gallon of pure syrup. Syrup production is dependent on the tree growing in cooler climates; as such, sugar maples in the southern part of its range produce little sap.
The sapwood can be white, and smaller logs may have a higher proportion of this desirable wood.Bowling alleys and bowling pins are both commonly manufactured from sugar maple. Trees with wavy woodgrain, which can occur in curly, quilted, and "birdseye maple" forms, are especially valued. Maple is also the wood used for basketball courts, including the floors used by the NBA, and it is a popular wood for baseball bats, along with white ash. In recent years, because white ash has become threatened by emerald ash borer, sugar maple wood has increasingly displaced it for baseball bat production. It is also widely used in the manufacture of musical instruments, such as the members of the violin family (sides and back), guitars (neck), and drum shells. It is also often used in the manufacture of sporting goods.
Canadian maple, often referred to as "Canadian hardrock maple", is prized for pool cues, especially the shafts. Some production-line cues will use lower-quality maple wood with cosmetic issues, such as "sugar marks", which are most often light brown discolorations caused by sap in the wood. The best shaft wood has a very consistent grain, with no marks or discoloration. Sugar marks usually do not affect how the cue plays, but are not as high quality as those without it. The wood is also used in gunstocks and flooring for its strength.[ citation needed ] Canadian hardrock maple is also used in the manufacture of electric guitar necks due to its high torsional stability and the bright, crisp resonant tone it produces. If the grain is curly, with flame or quilt patterns, it's usually reserved for more expensive instruments. In high-end guitars this wood is sometimes Torrefied to cook out the Lignin resins, allowing the greater stability to climate & environmental changes, and to enhance its tonal characteristics as the instrument's resonance is more evenly distributed across the cellulose structure of the wood without the lignin.
Sugar maple was a favorite street and park tree during the 19th century because it was easy to propagate and transplant, is fairly fast-growing, and has beautiful fall color. As noted above, however, it proved too delicate to continue in that role after the rise of automobile-induced pollution and was replaced by Norway maple and other hardier species. The shade and the shallow, fibrous roots may interfere with grass growing under the trees. Deep, well-drained loam is the best rooting medium, although sugar maples can grow well on sandy soil which has a good buildup of humus. Light (or loose) clay soils are also well known to support sugar maple growth. Poorly drained areas are unsuitable, and the species is especially short-lived on flood-prone clay flats. Its salt tolerance is low and it is very sensitive to boron.[ citation needed ] The species is also subject to defoliation when there are dense populations of larvae of Lepidoptera species like the rosy maple moth ( Dryocampa rubicunda ).
The Mohegan use the inner bark as a cough remedy, and the sap as a sweetening agent and to make maple syrup.
The national champion for Acer saccharum is located in Charlemont, Massachusetts. In 2007, the year it was submitted, it had a circumference of 5.92 m (233 inches) at 1.3 meters above the ground's surface, and thus a diameter at breast height of about 1.88 m (6.18 ft). At that time the tree was (34.1 m (112 ft) tall with an average crown spread of 27.7 m (91 ft). Using the scoring system of circumference in inches plus height in feet plus 25% of crown spread in feet resulted in a total number of 368 points at the National Register of Big Trees.A tree in Lyme, Connecticut, measured in 2012, had a circumference of 18.25 feet (5.56 m), or an average diameter at breast height of about 5.8 feet (1.77 m). This tree had been 123 ft (37.5 m) tall with a crown spread of 86 ft (26.2 m), counting for a total number of 364 points.
The sugar maple is the state tree of the US states of New York, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
It is depicted on the state quarter of Vermont, issued in 2001.
Acer saccharinum, commonly known as silver maple, creek maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, large maple, water maple, swamp maple, or white maple—is a species of maple native to the eastern and central United States and southeastern Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.
Maple sugar is a traditional sweetener in Canada and the northeastern United States, prepared from the sap of the maple tree.
Acer platanoides, also known as Norway maple, is a species of maple native to eastern and central Europe and western Asia, from France east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southeast to northern Iran. It was brought to North America in the mid-1700s as a shade tree. It is a member of the soapberry and lychee family.
Acer rubrum, the red maple, also known as swamp, water or soft maple, is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern and central North America. The U.S. Forest service recognizes it as the most abundant native tree in eastern North America. The red maple ranges from southeastern Manitoba around the Lake of the Woods on the border with Ontario and Minnesota, east to Newfoundland, south to Florida, and southwest to eastern Texas. Many of its features, especially its leaves, are quite variable in form. At maturity, it often attains a height of around 30 m (100 ft). Its flowers, petioles, twigs and seeds are all red to varying degrees. Among these features, however, it is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn.
Acer pseudoplatanus, known as the sycamore in the United Kingdom and the sycamore maple in the United States, is a flowering plant species in the soapberry and lychee family Sapindaceae. It is a large deciduous, broad-leaved tree, tolerant of wind and coastal exposure. It is native to Central Europe and Western Asia, from France eastwards to Ukraine, northern Turkey and the Caucasus and southwards in the mountains of northern Spain and Italy.
Acer negundo is a species of maple native to North America. Box elder, boxelder maple, ash-leaved maple, and maple ash are among its common names in the United States; in Canada it is commonly known as Manitoba maple and occasionally as elf maple; in the United Kingdom and Ireland it is known as ashleaf maple.
Betula nigra, the black birch, river birch or water birch, is a species of birch native to the Eastern United States from New Hampshire west to southern Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and west to Texas. It is one of the few heat-tolerant birches in a family of mostly cold-weather trees which do not thrive in USDA Zone 6 and up. B. nigra commonly occurs in floodplains and swamps.
Acer nigrum is a species of maple closely related to A. saccharum, and treated as a subspecies of it by some authors, as Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum.
Acer macrophyllum, the bigleaf maple or Oregon maple, is a large deciduous tree in the genus Acer.
Juglans cinerea, commonly known as butternut or white walnut, is a species of walnut native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada.
Betula papyrifera is a short-lived species of birch native to northern North America. Paper birch is named for the tree's thin white bark, which often peels in paper like layers from the trunk. Paper birch is often one of the first species to colonize a burned area within the northern latitudes, and is an important species for moose browsing. The wood is often used for pulpwood and firewood.
Betula alleghaniensis, the yellow birch or golden birch, is a large and important lumber species of birch native to North-eastern North America. Its vernacular names refer to the color of the tree's bark. The name Betula lutea was used expansively for this tree but has now been replaced.
Acer grandidentatum, commonly called bigtooth maple, is a species of maple native to interior western North America. It occurs in scattered populations from western Montana to central Texas in the United States and south to Coahuila in northern Mexico.
Acer spicatum is a species of maple native to northeastern North America from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland, and south to Pennsylvania. It also grows at high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.
Acer floridanum, commonly known as the Florida maple and occasionally as the southern sugar maple or hammock maple, is a tree that occurs in mesic and usually calcareous woodlands of the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plain in the United States, from southeastern Virginia in the north, south to central Florida, and west to Oklahoma and Texas.
Carya laciniosa, the shellbark hickory, in the Juglandaceae or walnut family is also called shagbark hickory, bigleaf shagbark hickory, kingnut, big, bottom, thick, or western shellbark, attesting to some of its characteristics. It is a slow-growing, long-lived tree, hard to transplant because of its long taproot, and subject to insect damage. The nuts, largest of all hickory nuts, are sweet and edible. Wildlife and people harvest most of them; those remaining produce seedling trees readily. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, and very flexible, making it a favored wood for tool handles. A specimen tree has been reported in Missouri with 117 cm (46 in) diameter at breast height, 36.9 m tall, and a spread of 22.6 m.
A beech-maple forest or a maple beech forest is a climax mesic closed canopy hardwood forest. It is primarily composed of American beech and sugar maple trees which co-dominate the forest and which are the pinnacle of plant succession in their range. A form of this forest was the most common forest type in the Northeastern United States when it was settled by Europeans and remains widespread but scattered today.
Acer argutum, commonly known in English as pointed-leaf maple and in Japanese as asanoha-kaede, is a species of deciduous flowering tree native to Japan. It is a member of the genus Acer, in the family Sapindaceae. It has an upright growth habit and can reach heights of 10 m (33 ft) tall.
Fortunately for Oklahoma, a subspecies (believed to be an ecotype) of the Sugar Maple was discovered in the southwest part of the state that is specifically adapted to our hot summers and drying winds.
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