sugar maple
Acer saccharum

Sugar maple is one of the most well-known and respected of U.S. hardwoods. In the cool-moist eastern regions where it grows, sugar maple is both commercially important and aesthetically loved.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Sugar maple is used to make furniture, veneer, paneling, flooring, gunstocks, tool handles, plywood dies, cutting blocks, woodenwares, bowling pins, musical instruments, etc.


Wildlife Value
      Deer browse can reduce development/regeneration and allow for American beech to assume the upperhand vs. sugar maple in long-term forest succession. Red, gray, and flying squirrels eat seeds, buds, twigs, and leaves. Porcupines eat the bark and sometimes girdle the trees.
          Attracts: deer, moose, snowshoe hare, squirrels, porcupines, screech owls, pileated woodpeckers, common flickers

Regeneration methods
      Due to great shade tolerance and release potential, regeneration systems with an element of shelter are useful, i.e. shelterwoods, group and single tree selections. Release from competition with striped maple, black cherry, yellow-poplar, and oaks is advised.

Fun facts
Sugar maple is commonly planted as an ornamental because of its potential for fantastic bright orange fall foliage. Sugar maple is the classic maple syrup provider - 35 to 50 gallons of sap are required to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup. Its wood is very hard.
Acer: Latin name - sharp (leaves or used as lances) or Celtic "ac" (hard) / saccharum: name for sugar cane - Greek "sakcharon" (sweet or sugar)
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu