The Sugar Maple, (Aceraceae Acer saccharum,) as it is known scientifically, was made West Virginia's official tree by a resolution of the 1949 Legislature.
It's wood is excellent for furniture and it produces maple syrup. A single tree is 70-120 feet high and produces two to three pounds of sugar when "sugared-off." It has a five-lobed leaf and a small wing-shaped seed pod. In the fall the leaves turn bright yellow.
Sometimes called hard maple or rock maple, sugar maple is one of the largest and more important of the hardwoods. Sap from the trunks of sugar maples is used to make maple syrup. Sugar maple trees seldom flower until they are at least 22 years old, but they can also live 300 to 400 years.
Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), sometimes called hard maple or rock maple, is one of the largest and more important of the hardwoods. It grows on approximately 12.5 million hectares (31 million acres) or 9 percent of the hardwood land and has a net volume of about 130 million m3 (26 billion fbm) or 6 percent of the hardwood sawtimber volume in the United States. The greatest commercial volumes are presently in Michigan, New York, Maine, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania (53). In most regions, both the saw timber and growing stock volumes are increasing, with increased production of saw logs, pulpwood, and more recently, firewood.
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Sugar Maple
|Kingdom||Plantae -- Plants|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta --Seed plants|
|Division||Magnoliophyta --Flowering plants|
|Family||Aceraceae --Maple family|
|Genus||Acer L. --maple|
|Species||Acer saccharum Marsh. --sugar maple|
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
US Department of Agriculture
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