Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5 - The Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum

Sugar Maple -
April 5 - The Sugar Maple Tree
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 fruit is a two-winged key. The two wings are nearly parallel, about 1 inch in length.

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.



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