"A Year With the Trees" - Tree Number 5
|Sugar Maple - http://www.robert-priddy-photography.com/|
The Sugar Maple's smooth twigs are a reddish-brown to a light brown. The spring flowers are yellowish-green, on long stalks, and appear with the leaves in April. Male and female flower clusters appear on the same tree.
The bark is gray brown, smooth on young trunks, older trunks are fissured with long, and irregular flakes. The Sugar Maple bark is darker, sometimes black, and not as smooth as the red maple. The Sugar Maple sap is sweeter than the Red Maple.
Early spring is the season for tapping the Sugar Maples. This is the time that the sweet sap flows. Maple syrup and maple candy is made from the Sugar Maple sap. The Maple Trees must be 40 years old before that produce enough sap to be tapped. There is a tapping procedure to ensure the health of the Maple Trees is not compromised.
|The Sugar Maple in the springtime at Sunset|
The Sugar Maple leaves have a U-shape notch in the leaves. The U in the notches is easy to remember since there is a letter U in sugar. The other maple leaves do not have this U-shape notch. Maple leaves are opposite from each other on the twigs and 3 - 5 inches long.
|The Sugar Maple Tree|
|The Sugar Maple with Summer Samaras|
As I took this photo of the Sugar Maple, the light was filtering through the now yellow leaves; the fall insects were calling to each other and there was a slight breeze. It was cool enough that I got to wear my orange knitted cap and a long sleeve shirt. The seasons are changing just as our own lives change. We are never the same, just as this tree is never the same. Listen to the change of the seasons.
|Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum|
This Sugar Maple Tree lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens. www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org
|Yellow bellied sapsucker. photo by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sphyrapicus_varius.jpg|
|The Sugar Maple Tree|
The Sugar Maple tree bark has such interesting dark colors, ridges and valleys. A friend of mine, Jay, who is the garden manager at the Asheville Botanical Gardens, told me about the dark color that is due to a fungus that eats the sugars. He said he arrived at the botanical gardens in Asheville early one morning in March and the bark looked wet. He touched the tree and it was so sweet. The sugars were out. He, being from the maple syrup kingdom of New England, loved the maple tree sweetness. I hope I am there one day when the Maple Sap in running down the tree to taste it.
|Acer saccharum, Sugar Maple in January|
I always notice the bark in the winter. Most of the Sugar Maples I know have a dark black bark when they get older.
The buds of the Sugar Maple are pointed with overlapping scales. The twigs are shiny, brownish gray and slender. The twigs and buds are opposite each other on the branches