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Species – Maple

Species Information - Maple

Species Information

Maple, or more appropriately – Acer, is a genus of trees classified in a family of their own: Aceraceae. When coupled with the Hippocastanaceae, they are grouped in the family Sapindaceae. Maples are renowned for their vibrant colors that come to life in autumnal seasons.

There are nearly 130 various species of maple, most of which are native to Asia. However, a few species exist in Europe, Northern Africa, and North America. Fifty-four maple species are considered under threat of extinction in their native habitat, as declared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Many cultures revere the maple. Canada has the maple leaf as the centerpiece of its national flag. The maple is a symbol of strength and endurance. In Japan, maples are often used for the art of bonsai, because they respond well to leaf reduction.

Maple trees are a source of international tourism, because of their fall foliage. In Japan, this event is known as “momijigari.” In the Americas, the Sugar Maple brings tourists to areas such as Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

Two of the primary uses of maple are for syrup and timber. Each year the Sugar Maple is tapped for its sap. When boiled, this sap produces syrup. It requires 40 liters of sap to make one liter of syrup.

When it comes to timber, two maples take the lead: the Sugar Maple of North America and the Sycamore Maple of Europe. Sugar (Hard) Maple is used for bowling pins and lanes, pool cue shafts, bats, and, of course, flooring.

Scientific Names

Origin

When it comes to North American maple, the Sugar/Hard Maple is prevalent. The North American Maple Tree is concentrated in the eastern United States and Canada.

Crossover Names:

Janka Rating

Hard maple is a particularly hard and durable wood. With a rating of 1,450, it’s twice as hard as Douglas fir, and slightly harder than black sugar maple.

Maple Janka Scale Rating 1,450

*The Janka rating measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. Click Here for more info.

Appearance

The heartwood of sugar maple ranges from a creamy white to slight reddish brown tint. It can be confused with the heartwood of a Southern yellow pine. It also endures a rather radical color change when exposed to sunlight. The sapwood of sugar maple is a deep, creamy white.

Unlike most other hardwoods, with hard maple, the sapwood is more commonly used than the heartwood.

Hard maple can be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns, although it is generally straight.

Due to its light color and durability, maple is popular for projects that require a contemporary look.

Workability

Maple is fairly easy to work with, using both hand and machine tools. It’s slightly more difficult to work with than Soft Maple, because of the increased density found in Hard Maple. Maple is known for burning when being machined. It turns, glues, and finishes well. However, it can blotch when stained. To even color, pre-conditioners, gel stains or toners may be required.

CLICK HERE to view all of our Maple hardwood flooring.

Click below for a detailed discription of the different species of hardwood.

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