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Sugar Maple

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Sugar Maple

Description

Sugar Maple is a deciduous type of tree growing to the height of 25 to 35 meters. Its deciduous leaves measure to about 20 centimeters long having five palmate lobes. These leaves have fabulous range of fall color from yellow to red-orange. Its flowers are corymbs, yellow-green in color and have no petals. The fruit of Sugar Maple is double samara having two-winged seeds.

Sugar maple grows in regions having cool, moist climates. Its growing season is from eighty to two-hundred-sixty days. It can be planted on sands, sandy loams, loamy sands, and silt loams, but the best planting area is on a well-drained loam. Sugar maple does not grow very well on shallow, dry soils. In addition, it requires soils in the range of strongly acid to slightly alkaline.

Sugar maple trees are very seldom to flower until reaching at least twenty-two years old, although flowering became heavier during later ages. Usually, the flower buds begin to swell prior to the leaf buds showing activity. It will reach the full bloom about one to two weeks before the leaves emerge. The flowers on the other hand start to appear between the late March and the middle of May. These all depend on the geographical location.

History and Origin

Sugar Maple is species of maple commonly found in the northeastern part of North America. Its native range extends eastward, originating from the southeastern most of Manitoba passing through the central Ontario, southern part of Quebec, and the entire New Brunswick as well as Nova Scotia. In the United States territory, Sugar Maple spread throughout the New England, Pennsylvania, New York, and right in the middle of Atlantic States, towards southwestward passing central New Jersey up to the Appalachian Mountains, and going southward at North Carolina and to the southern most of Tennessee. Sugar Maple’s western limit is in Missouri towards Kansas, then eastern part of Iowa and Minnesota.

Ancient Uses

Sugar maple is the prime source of the renowned maple sugar. At early spring, trees are tapped for the initial flow of sap that contains the highest sugar level. The collected sap is boiled and reduced to syrup. When concentrated further through evaporation, it produces the maple sugar.

Modern Uses

The Sugar Maple is the foremost and the best source of sap to make maple syrup. The wood on the other hand is considered one of the toughest, densest among the maple trees, and great for flooring and furniture. The bowling alleys as well as the bowling pins are made using sugar maple. The wood is also used in the flooring of basketball courts, and is a popular material for baseball bats. Moreover, it is preferred in the manufacturing of musical instruments including violins, guitars, and drum shells.

Side Effects

The maple sugar that can be produced from sugar maple is among the simple sugar additives. Simple sugar additives can be used in producing sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol is a sugar replacement found in foods and drinks. Although manufacturers use sugar alcohol due to less calorie content, it can cause some side effects. The most common of these side effects include diarrhea, bloating, gas and other gastrointestinal issues.

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