Maple Tree Types, A List of Different Types of Maple Tree
Amur Maple Tree, one of the smaller varieties of maple tree
Black Maple Tree, used for sawtimber, veneer, maple syrup and fuel wood
Japanese Maple Tree, used as an ornamental tree in many Japanese gardens
Manitoba Maple Tree, is a fast growing tree with great fall color
Norway Maple Tree, roots are visible on ground surface
Paperbark Maple Tree, reddish-brown colored bark that peels away from trunk
Red Maple Tree, one of the fastest growing types of maple tree
Silver Maple Tree, undersides of leaves are silver in color
Sugar Maple Tree, the first choice for making maple syrup
Here is some detailed information on the maple tree species.
Acer is a genus of trees or shrubs commonly known as maple.
Maples are variously classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or together with the Hippocastanaceae included in the family Sapindaceae. Modern classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in Sapindaceae. The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore maple).
There are approximately 129 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a number also appearing in Europe, northern Africa, and North America.
Most maples are trees growing to 10 to 45 metres (30 to 145 ft) in height. Others are shrubs less than 10 metres tall with a number of small trunks originating at ground level. Most species are deciduous, but a few in southern Asia and the Mediterranean region are evergreen. Most are shade-tolerant when young, and are often late-successional in ecology; many of the root systems are typically dense and fibrous. A few species, notably Acer cappadocicum, frequently produce root sprouts, which can develop into clonal colonies.
Maple flowers are green, yellow, orange or red. Though individually small, the effect of an entire tree in flower can be striking in several species. Some maples are an early spring source of pollen and nectar for bees.
The distinctive fruit are called samaras or "maple keys". These seeds, or 'whirlybirds,' occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a "nutlet" attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to spin as they fall and to carry the seeds a considerable distance on the wind. Children often call them "helicopters" due to the way that they spin as they fall. Seed maturation is usually in a few weeks to six months after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity. However, one tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time. Depending on the species, the seeds can be small and green to orange and big with thicker seed pods. The green seeds are released in pairs, sometimes with the stems still connected. The yellow seeds are released individually and almost always without the stems. Most species require stratification in order to germinate, and some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating.
The genus is subdivided by its morphology into a multitude of sections and subsections.
Maples are planted as ornamental trees by homeowners, businesses and municipalities. Acer platanoides (Norway maple) is especially popular as it is fast-growing and extremely cold-resistant, though it is also an invasive species in some regions. Other maples, especially smaller or more unusual species, are popular as specimen trees.
Maples are a popular choice for the art of bonsai.
Maple collections, sometimes called aceretums, occupy space in many gardens and arboreta around the world including the "five great W's" in England: Wakehurst Place Garden, Westonbirt Arboretum, Windsor Great Park, Winkworth Arboretum and Wisley Garden.
Many maples have bright autumn foliage, and many countries have leaf-watching traditions. In Japan, the custom of viewing the changing colour of maples in the autumn is called "momijigari". Nikko and Kyoto are particularly favoured destinations for this activity. In addition, in Korea, the same viewing activity is called "Danpung-Nori" and the Seoraksan and Naejang-san mountains are very famous places for it.
Maples are important as source of syrup and wood. Dried wood is often used for the smoking of food. They are also cultivated as ornamental plants and have benefits for tourism and agriculture.
The Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is tapped for sap, which is then boiled to produce maple syrup or made into maple sugar or maple taffy. It takes about 40 litres of Sugar maple sap to make a litre of syrup. Syrup can be made from closely-related species as well, but their output is inferior.
The seeds are sometimes consumed after they are boiled in water to remove wax buildup compounds and are crushed up in some varieties of exotic drinks.
Some of the larger maple species have valuable timber, particularly Sugar maple in North America, and Sycamore maple in Europe. Sugar maple wood often known as "hard maple" is the wood of choice for bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, pool cue shafts, and butcher's blocks. Maple wood is also used for the manufacture of wooden baseball bats, though less often than ash or hickory due to the tendency of maple bats to shatter when broken. The maple bat was introduced to Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1998 by Sam Holman of Sam Bats. Today it is the standard maple bat most in use by professional baseball.
Maple wood is often graded based on physical and aesthetic characteristics. The most common terminology includes the grading scale from common number 2 which is unselected, and often used for craft woods, common number 1 used for commercial and residential buildings, Clear, and select grade which sought out for fine woodworking.
Some maple wood has a highly decorative wood grain, known as flame maple, quilt maple, birdseye maple and burl wood. This condition occurs randomly in individual trees of several species, and often cannot be detected until the wood has been sawn, though it is sometimes visible in the standing tree as a rippled pattern in the bark.
Maple is considered a tonewood, or a wood that carries sound waves well, and is used in numerous musical instruments. Maple is harder and has a brighter sound than Mahogany, which is the other major tonewood used in instrument manufacture.
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