When the excavation of our baseball fields begun in fall of 2008 in the middle of the field stood a sugar maple tree. Which livestock was using to shade from the sun. After looking at the condition of the tree and elevation of where it stood the decision was made to adjust our park design to include the tree, so the sugar maple tree is found near the center of the baseball fields.

Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum Marsh.

 

Aceraceae -- Maple family

Richard M. Godman, Harry W. Yawney, and Carl H. Tubbs

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), sometimes called hard maple or rock maple, is one of the largest and more important of the hardwoods. It grows on approximately 12.5 million hectares (31 million acres) or 9 percent of the hardwood land and has a net volume of about 130 million m3 (26 billion fbm) or 6 percent of the hardwood sawtimber volume in the United States. The greatest commercial volumes are presently in Michigan, New York, Maine, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. In most regions, both the sawtimber and growing stock volumes are increasing, with increased production of saw logs, pulpwood, and more recently, firewood.

Habitat

Native Range

The northern limit of sugar maple nearly parallels the 35th mean annual isotherm extending eastward from the extreme southeast corner of Manitoba, through central Ontario, the southern third of Quebec and all of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Within the United States the species is found throughout New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and the middle Atlantic States, extending southwestward through central New Jersey to the Appalachian Mountains, then southward through the western edge of North Carolina to the southern border of Tennessee. The western limit extends through Missouri into a small area of Kansas, the eastern one-third of Iowa, and the eastern two-thirds of Minnesota. A few outlier communities are found in northern Kansas, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

Special Uses

The sugar maple tree is the principal source of maple sugar. The trees are tapped early in the spring for the first flow of sap, which usually has the highest sugar content. The sap is collected and boiled or evaporated to a syrup. Further concentration by evaporation produces the maple sugar. Sugar maple sap averages about 2.5 percent sugar; about 129 liters (34 gal) of sap are required to make 3.8 liters (1 gal) of syrup or 3.6 kg (8 lb) of sugar. Guides have been printed for developing a sugar bush from natural stands.

Breeding experiments have determined that sugar content is high for certain families and that sugar content in individual trees is consistent over a period of years. A sugar content of 7.4 percent has been attained by crossing two selected parents of slightly lower content. The sugar content is also correlated with the volume yield of sap.

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