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.
|Sugar maple foliage|
|Native range of Acer saccharum|
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. When healthy, the sugar maple can live for over 400 years.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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 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.
Sugar maple is native to areas with cooler climates. 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).
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. The sugar maple can grow comfortably in any type of soil except sand.
Sugar maples 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. 40 gallons of maple sap are required to be boiled to produce only 1 gallon of pure syrup.
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. 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.
The 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. 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 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.
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.
Acer floridanum (syn. Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum (Chapm.) Desmarais, Acer barbatum auct. non Michx.), 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.Acer nigrum
Acer nigrum (black maple) is a species of maple closely related to A. saccharum (sugar maple), and treated as a subspecies of it by some authors, as Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum.Identification can be confusing due to the tendency of the two species to form hybrids. The simplest and most accurate method for distinguishing between the two trees is the generally three-lobed leaves of the black maple versus the generally five-lobed leaves of the sugar maple. The leaves of the black maple also tend to have a "droopy" appearance. Other differences that are not as pronounced include darker, more deeply grooved bark, slightly smaller seeds, and thicker petioles. Hybrids are intermediate in their characteristics.Apocheima strigataria
Apocheima strigataria, the small phigalia moth, is a species of moth of the family Geometridae. The species was first described by Charles Sedgwick Minot in 1869. It is found in North America, where it has been recorded from North Dakota to Texas and further east. The habitat consists of woodlands and forests.
The length of the forewings is 14–18 mm for males. Females are flightless with reduced wings. Adults are on wing from January onwards in the south. In the north, adults are on wing from March to May.The larvae feed on Juglans nigra, Carya ovata, Carya tomentosa, Carya glabra, Betula lenta, Corylus americana, Quercus alba, Quercus prinus, Quercus stellata, Quercus rubra, Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina, Ulmus rubra, Celtis occidentalis, Hamamelis virginiana, Crataegus, Amelanchier canadensis, Amelanchier grandiflora, Malus sylvestris, Malus coronaria, Rubus, Prunus serotina, Cercis canadensis, Acer negundo, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, Acer pensylvaticum, Tilia americana, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Nyssa sylvatica, Cornus florida and Vaccinium angustifolium.Caloptilia aceris
Caloptilia aceris is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from China, Japan (Honshū, Hokkaidō), Korea and the Russian Far East.The wingspan is 9.5–12 mm.
The larvae feed on Acer miyabei, Acer mono, Acer palmatum and Acer saccharum. They probably mine the leaves of their host plant.Caloptilia packardella
Caloptilia packardella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Quebec, Canada, and the United States (including Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Vermont and Illinois).The wingspan is about 11 mm. There are at least two generations per year in Illinois.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer platanoides, Acer saccharum and Acer saccharinum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The larvae make a typical leaf cone.Caloptilia umbratella
Caloptilia umbratella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Ontario and Québec in Canada and Kentucky and Virginia in the United States.There are probably two generations per year.
The larvae feed on Acer rubrum and Acer saccharum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine has the form of a short linear mine terminating in a small flat blotch, in which the parenchyma is consumed.Cameraria saccharella
Cameraria saccharella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Quebec, Canada, and Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Maine, New York, Connecticut and Vermont in the United States.
The wingspan is 5–7 mm.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer nigrum, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum and Acer saccharum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine has the form of a small irregular blotch mine on the upperside of the leaf. There may be up to thirty mines on a single leaf. The pupa is not enclosed in a cocoon.Ceratocystis coerulescens
Ceratocystis coerulescens is an ascomycete fungus and the causal agent of sapstreak disease in sugar maple trees. There is debate about whether it is one species or two; the second being Ceratocystis virescens. For simplicity, this page will refer to this pathogen as one species. It is also known by its anamorph name Endoconidiophora virescens.
Host and Symptoms
This fungus is often found as a saprophyte on logs of woody species. It causes sapstreak disease in just one host species: Acer saccharum, commonly known as the sugar maple or rock maple. Symptoms include a sparse crown, dieback, dwarfed leaves, and cankers. Infected trees may die suddenly or languish for 2–4 years. The symptom most characteristic of sapstreak disease is yellowish-green stained wood that is also very moist. Once the wood is cut and dries, the stains turn light brown, so they're difficult to see and diagnose at that point.Disease Cycle
As an ascomycete, Ceratocystis coerulescens produces ascospores encased as groups of eight in asci. The asci are protected by a perithecium, a flask-shaped ascocarp, in which the pathogen overwinters. Ascospores are the sexual spores and are far less common than the asexual spores known as conidia. The conidia form on conidiophores without a sporocarp. C. coerulescens has two mating types referred to as Mat-1 and Mat-2, but it is not a strictly heterothalic species. The Mat-1 type is self-sterile and must cross with Mat-2 to produce perithecia. However, the Mat-2 type is self-fertile and half of the progeny from a Mat-2 selfing are Mat-1.Environment
Sapstreak disease has occurred only in North America and primarily in sugar bushes, stands of Acer saccharum that are tapped for maple sap. There has been a single report of it in Ontario, Canada; and cases in the U.S. have been from California, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin. As with all fungi, it requires a moist environment to sporulate.
Ceratocystis coerulescens enters its host through wounds, especially wounds in buttress roots and lower trunk. All diseased trees have been found to have man-made wounds from tapping and/or driving and dragging logs over them. Therefore it’s believed that the trees successfully combat the pathogen when it enters wounds higher up made by animals, insects, or weather. Sapstreak disease is commonly associated with the presence of opportunistic fungi Armillaria and/or Xylaria.Importance
Sapstreak threatens maple syrup production primarily, but also ruins the wood for making lumber. The economic and environmental damage due to this pathogen is currently meager. Most instances have occurred after incautious logging and have been well contained. Usually a single tree or a small group is affected.Management
The best way to manage this disease is to prevent it by avoiding injuries to the roots and lower stems of sugar maples. This can be accomplished by using the same, well-placed trails every year through the sugar bush and by using tubing systems instead of buckets to collect sap. When infection does occur, the tree should be cut down and the wood promptly removed to reduce inoculum.Cofrin Memorial Arboretum
The Cofrin Memorial Arboretum 290 acres (120 hectares) surrounds the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay campus in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States. Its six miles (10 km) of trails are open to the public.
Today's Arboretum began in 1971, when a long-range campus plan was drawn up, recommending the creation of a park-like arboretum and trail system. In 1975, a major contribution in honor of John and Austin Cofrin enabled development of the trails, additional property, and improvements in the botanical plantings. At present the Arboretum contains the following areas:
Keith White Prairie
8.5 acres (3.4) maintained through prescribed burns. Grasses include big bluestem, Indian grass, and switch grass. Flower species include yellow cone flower, prairie dock, lupin, black-eyed Susan, spiderwort, and false indigo.
a remnant of the indigenous forests, with 59 species of trees and shrubs including oaks (Quercus alba, Quercus rubra), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and white pines (Pinus strobus). Other species include trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), trout lilies (Erythronium americanum, Erythronium albidum), violets (Viola sororia, Viola pubescens), and toothworts (Dentaria laciniata, Dentaria diphylla).
white cedar trees.
An artificially developed sandy habitat for plant species that cannot flourish in the clay soils of the campus.
scattered oak trees within fields of grasses and herbs.
Paul Sager Tract
20 acres (8 hectares) including small natural springs, 2 ponds, and associated wetlands.
13 experimental plots ranging in age from 2 to 17 years of natural succession. At present, its plants include, in rough order of succession: lamb's quarters (Chenopodium album), ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), foxtail grass (Setaria glauca), bluegrass (Poa pratensis), quackgrass (Agropyron repens), smooth brome (Bromus inermis), goldenrods (Solidago canadensis, Solidago graminifolia) asters (Aster novae-angliae, Aster ericoides), box elder (Acer negundo), cottonwood (Populus deltoides), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis).Dicerca divaricata
Dicerca divaricata is a species of black coloured beetle from Chrysochroinae subfamily which is 15–22 millimetres (0.59–0.87 in) long and is found throughout West Virginia. The species is known for feeding on various maples such as Acer saccharum and Acer rubrum as well as Ulmus americana and Cercis species. The species fly in June.Ectoedemia ochrefasciella
The hard maple budminer moth (Ectoedemia ochrefasciella) is a moth of the Nepticulidae family. It is found in North America, including Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.
The wingspan is 6.5–8 mm.
The larvae have been recorded on Acer saccharum.Fell Arboretum
The Fell Arboretum is an arboretum located across the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
The arboretum began in 1867 when Jesse W. Fell, the university's founder, obtained $3,000 from the state legislature for campus landscaping. He planted 1,740 trees on campus that year and 107 trees the following year. An enthusiastic tree planter, Fell wished the campus to contain every tree native to Illinois. In 1995 the campus was formally registered as an arboretum and named in Fell's honor.
The arboretum contains over 4,000 trees representing over 100 varieties, including Abies concolor, Acer ginnala, Acer griseum, Acer platanoides, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Aesculus glabra, Aesculus x carnea, Alnus glutinosa, Amelanchier arborea, Aralia spinosa, Betula alleghaniensis, Betula nigra, Betula populifolia, Broussonetia papyrifera, Carpinus caroliniana, Carya illinoensis, Castanea mollissima, Catalpa speciosa, Celtis occidentalis, Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Cercis canadensis, Cladrastis kentukea, Cornus mas, Cotinus obovatus, Crataegus crusgalli, Crataegus mollis, Crataegus monogyna, Diospyros virginiana, Eucommia ulmoides, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ginkgo biloba, Gleditsia triacanthos, Gymnocladus dioicus, Halesia carolina, Juglans nigra, Juniperus virginiana, Larix decidua, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata, Magnolia stellata, Magnolia x soulangiana, Malus coronaria, Malus cultivar, Malus ioensis, Malus sargentii, Morus alba, Nyssa sylvatica, Phellodendron amurense, Picea abies, Picea glauca, Picea pungens, Pinus mugo, Pinus nigra, Pinus resinosa, Pinus strobus, Pinus sylvestris, Platanus occidentalis, Populus alba, Prunus padus, Prunus serotina, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pyrus calleryana, Quercus alba, Quercus bicolor, Quercus coccinea, Quercus hybrid, Quercus imbricaria, Quercus macrocarpa, Quercus palustris, Quercus rubra, Sassafras albidum, Taxodium distichum, Tilia americana, Tilia cordata, Tsuga canadensis, Viburnum prunifolium, and Zelkova serrata. Each tree is numbered, marked, and mapped.List of U.S. state and territory trees
This is a list of U.S. state, federal district, and territory trees, including official trees of the following of the states, of the federal district, and of the territories.Maple sugar
Maple sugar is a traditional sweetener in Canada and the northeastern United States, prepared from the sap of the maple tree ("maple sap").Morrisonia latex
The Fluid Arches (Morrisonia latex) is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found from Nova Scotia to South Carolina, west to Arkansas and north to Manitoba.
The moth flies from May to July depending on the location.
The larvae feed on Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Acer saccharinum, Acer nigrum, Prunus serotina, Betula lenta, Betula nigra, Betula lutea, Betula papyrifera, Ulmus americana, Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Quercus prinus, Quercus velutina and Sassafras albidum.Sugar Creek (Duck River)
Sugar Creek is a stream in Hickman County, Tennessee, United States. It is a tributary of Duck River.
Sugar Creek was named for the sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) growing along its banks.Trifurcula saccharella
Trifurcula saccharella is a moth of the Nepticulidae family. It is found in Ohio, United States.
The wingspan is about 4 mm. Mined leaves may be collected in early July and late August; sometimes the larvae of a third generation are found in October. Moths from the overwintering pupae emerge in May and June.
The larvae feed on Acer saccharum and Acer rubrum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine is long and serpentine, in which the loosened epidermis is pale green and a black line of frass extends through the middle. The larvae are pale green and the cocoon is ocherous, regularly oval, much flattened and smooth, with a projecting rim extending entirely around it.Twin Lakes Bog State Natural Area
Twin Lakes Bog State Natural Area is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-designated State Natural Area featuring an intact tamarack (Larix laricina) swamp lying in a depression between two kettle lakes (North Twin Lake and South Twin Lake). The understory of the swamp has an open aspect to it, and is dominated by the ericaceous shrubs Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum), bog laurel (Kalmia polifolia), and leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata). Other common plant species found here include: wooly-fruit Sedge (Carex lasiocarpa), twinflower (Linnaea borealis), cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum), sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) and (Drosera intermedia), and the notably abundant pink ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule). Three small bog lakes (0.4-1.0 acres), surrounded by quaking bog mats, are found in the interior of the swamp. Uplands surrounding the swamp are forested with second-growth hardwoods dominated by sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and red oak (Quercus rubra). In 1989, the US Forest Service designated Twin Lakes Bog as a Research Natural Area.Warren Woods State Park
Warren Woods is a 311-acre (1.26 km2) state park in Berrien County, Michigan, near the town of Three Oaks. It is leased by private owners to the state of Michigan.The woods are named for Edward Kirk Warren (1847-1919), the inventor of the featherbone corset (which replaced the whalebone corset with turkey bones and secured his fortune). Starting in 1879, Warren bought 150 acres (0.61 km2) of the woods and 250 acres (1.0 km2) of the dunes, setting it aside for preservation.
The park is home to the last climax beech-maple forest in Michigan, which occupies 200 acres (0.81 km2). The virgin North American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) forest has specimens 125 feet (38 m) tall and with girths greater than 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. The remaining area in the park consists of floodplain oak-hickory forest. Because of the size and age of the trees, and the rarity of the ecosystem, the area has been designated since 1967 as a National Natural Landmark. Many of the beeches, with their temptingly smooth, thin, silver-grey bark, are heavily scarred by hand-carved graffiti, some of it decades old; however, this practice seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years.
The park has few facilities and is administered by nearby Warren Dunes State Park. Most visitors come to walk the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of hiking trails, which run from the northern boundary on Warren Woods Road to a parking area accessed from the southern boundary on Elm Valley Road. In the middle of the park the trail crosses the Galien River on a pedestrian bridge, where there is an interpretive station. The park contains the 42-acre (17 ha) Warren Woods Ecological Field Station owned and operated by the University of Chicago. Birders cite the park as a particularly good place to spot pileated woodpeckers. Other visitors come to picnic. The park is the subject of ecological studies because, in combination with the ecosystems preserved in nearby Warren Dunes State Park, it completes a progression of ecological seres.
Sugar (as food commodity)