Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum

Location in Ontario

Sugar Maple grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward. It prefers rich, moist but well drained soil.


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

Genus Acer
Maple trees have simple, lobed leaves that are opposite and decussate (successive pairs are 90 degrees to each other). Check this link for more about decussate leaf arrangement.

Maples are known for their beautiful fall colours. Maples are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree, although some species are solely male or female. 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.

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

In the Landscape
Sugar Maple are large trees which grow up to 35 metres in height and can live to be over 200 years old.  Sugar Maples need a lot of space; they are large trees with slow growth to full, beautiful canopies.

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!


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. Leaves turn yellow, deep gold or red in the fall.
Bark
The bark is dark gray with long irregular ridges.
Flowers: Sugar Maples are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Flowers are variable; male and female flowers may appear in the same cluster, or in separate clusters. Flowers appear in early spring before the leaves and are wind pollinated.
Fruit
The fruit is a
single seed  contained in a key; a doubly-winged samara. 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.  


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

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual for Sugar Maple.

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