The Sugar Maple tree is one of America's most loved trees. Here is a tree that lives to serve! Perhaps it is best known for its syrup, or Syrop as the French explorers called it when they found Native Americans enjoying this spring delight. Today, about two million gallons of the liquid gold support an important rural industry in the United States. Its gifts include shade and fall beauty that are unparalleled in park and home landscapes. Finally, as one last service during its sojourn on earth, Sugar Maple as firewood has few rivals - it splits easily, gives off an enormous amount of heat, produces few sparks, and ends in fine, rich ashes that pioneers turned into soap but today can enrich gardens.
The Sugar Maple is a landscape standout. Medium to dark-green leaves turn yellow, burnt orange or red in fall. Tolerates shade, likes a well-drained, moderately moist, fertile soil. Do not plant in confined areas or where salt is a problem. Grows to 60' to 75', 40'-50' spread. (zones 3-8)
Sugar Maples are commonly browsed by white-tailed deer, moose, and snowshoe hare. Squirrels feed on the seeds, buds, twigs, and leaves.
The wood of the Sugar Maple tree has always been highly valued for furniture because of its beauty, and for products ranging from flooring to bowling pins thanks to its extreme hardness. During the 2001 baseball season, Barry Bonds switched from the traditional Ash wood baseball bat to one made of Maple and hit 73 home runs, a new record! In 1663, chemist Robert Boyle informed the Europeans about the tree in the new world that produced a sweet substance and John Smith was among the first settlers who remarked about the Native American's sugar processing and the fact that they used the product for barter. It has been used for medicine because of its bone-building phosphates that enhance calcium retention.
Prefers moist soil conditions but has moderate drought resistance.
This trees leaves are 3 to 5 inches across with 5, or rarely 3, distinctive lobes. Autumn coloration is a striking red and yellow.
This tree produces two winged seeds on a single stem, each approximately 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches long.