Carolinian
and Deciduous Forest Trees
   of Southern Ontario

Sugar Maple
Acer Saccharum

Location in Ontario:
Sugar Maples grow throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward.


Golden-orange fall colours of Sugar Maple,
University of Guelph Arboretum

Genus Acer: Maple trees have simple, lobed leaves that are opposite. They are known for their beautiful fall colours. Maples are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Seeds are in double-winged samaras, or keys. Sugar Maple, Black Maple, Red Maple, Silver Maple and the hybrid Freeman's Maple all grow in Ontario. Sugar Maples are used to make maple syrup, and the wood is valued for cabinets, flooring and furniture.

TREE FACT: Maple trees are divided into "hard" maples (Sugar and Black) and "soft" maples (Silver, Red and Freeman's).

Habitat: Sugar Maples grow on rich, moist but well drained soil.

Landscape Use: What is more beautiful than a Sugar Maple in full autumn colours? Sugar Maples need a lot of space; they are large trees with slow growth to full, beautiful canopies.


Sugar Maple, University of Guelph Arboretum

Leaves: Sugar Maple leaves have 5 pointed lobes, with veins going from the base of the leaf to each of the lobes.

FALL COLOUR WATCH:  yellow, deep gold or red

Flowers: Sugar Maples are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Maple flowers are variable; male and female flowers may appear in the same cluster, or in separate clusters. Flowers appear in early spring.

Fruit: A single Maple seed is contained in a key; a doubly-winged samara. Maple keys twirl to the ground, dispersed by wind and water, in the fall. Sugar Maples produce fruit after 30 years, with good seed crops every 3 to 7 years.


Keys of Sugar Maple
 

Bark: The bark is dark gray with long irregular ridges.

TREE FACT: Sugar Maple trees are tapped in the spring to collect sap to make maple syrup. In order to get a 1 litre yield of syrup, 40 litres of sap are needed!

Size: Sugar Maple are large trees which grow up to 35 metres in height and can live to be over 200 years old.


Perhaps this Sugar Maple seedling will live to 200 years old! St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre

Wood: Sugar Maples have hard wood, and are sold collectively with Black Maple, labelled as "Hard" Maple. Hard maple wood makes beautiful cabinets, furniture, flooring etc.
Specific gravity: 0.63
Janka Hardness:
1450 lb

Wood Comparison Chart


Creamy yellow colour of Sugar Maples in flower, spring 2017, Norfolk County

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