hard maple, rock maple

Acer saccharum Marshall

Sugar maple is a magnificent forest tree abundant everywhere in the state outside of Long Island. It is the official state tree of New York. Besides providing beautiful borders to many miles of highway, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of maple syrup from the many thousands of sugar bushes in all parts of the state, it yields a wood of high grade. It is hard, strong, close-grained, and tough, with a fine, satiny surface, and is in great demand for flooring, veneer, interior finish, furniture, shoe lasts, rollers, and as a fuelwood of the best quality.

Bark - on young trees dark gray in color, close, smooth, and firm, becoming furrowed into long irregular plates lifting along one edge.

Twigs - slender, shining, the color of maple sugar.

Winter buds - very narrow, sharp-pointed, brown in color, the terminal buds much larger than the laterals.

Leaves - simple, opposite, 3 to 5 inches long and fully as wide, 3 to 5 shallow lobes with wide-spaced coarse teeth, dark green in color above, paler below; the clefts are rounded at the base.

Fruit - maple samaras, in short clusters, ripening in September. Seeds - join each other in a straight line. Wings - turn down almost at right angles.

Distinguishing features - rounded cleft between lobes of leaves; leaf lobes lacking small teeth; sharp-pointed, brown buds; brown twig.

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