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The sugar maple is one of America’s best-loved trees. In fact, more states have claimed it as their state tree than any other single species — those states being New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont.
While commercially planted for its delicious syrup and value as lumber, this tree makes a great addition to any yard or park. And one of its most prominent features is amazing fall color. As the seasons change, the leaves turn vibrant shades of yellow, burnt orange, and red.
Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade
Acidic, Alkaline, Drought, Well Drained
Sugar maples are commonly browsed by white-tailed deer, moose and snowshoe hare. Squirrels feed on the seeds, buds, twigs and leaves.
In 1663, chemist Robert Boyle informed the Europeans about the tree in the new world that produced a sweet substance. John Smith was among the first settlers who remarked about the Native Americans’ sugar processing and the fact that they used the product for barter. They also used the inner bark to make a tea to treat coughs and diarrhea.
Other historic uses included making soap from its ashes, using the bark as a dye, drinking the sap as a spring tonic and taking the syrup for liver and kidney problems.
During the 2001 baseball season, Barry Bonds switched from the traditional ash wood baseball bat to one made of maple and hit 73 home runs—a new record!