Tree of the Month

Sugar Maple, photo courtesy of Jeffrey Spahn

Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum Marsh.
Family: Sapindaceae
Sugar maple is the state tree of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. It was on the Vermont state quarter in 2001. Sugar maple, sometimes referred to as rock maple, is native to southeast Canada, north-central United States and north eastern United States. Sugar maple is the primary source of maple sap for production of maple syrup, and timber from sugar maples have a wide range of uses, including the floors of basketball courts for the NBA, baseball bats, bowling alleys and pins, archery bows (given its flexibility) and musical instruments like violins. The species is extremely shade tolerant, but struggles with urban conditions   such as air pollution, soil compaction and road salt in urban soils. Even so, sugar maple remains a favorite for urban plantings in parks and along streets due to its beautiful range of yellow, orange, and red foliage colors in the fall. You can see these colors by visiting the sugar maple along the foot path between Bartlett Hall and the Food Science building on Cook Campus (pictured above). You can't miss it.

"Tree of the Month" for October 2016 contributed by Jeffrey Spahn