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Wood Species: Maple Sugar/Hard

Scientific Name: Acersaccharum

Trade Name: Majesty Sugar Maple

Family Name: Aceraceae

Common Names: Sugar Maple

Regions of Distribution: Northeastern and North-Central United States, adjacent parts of Canada are its area of distribution.

Countries of Distribution: Canada and the United States


Color: The heartwood is creamy to light reddish brown; whereas the sapwood is pale to creamy white in a Sugar Maple tree.

Grain: It has a closed, subdued grain, medium figuring and uniform texturing.

Variations within species and grades: Black Maple (B. Nigrum) is considered hard like the Sugar Maple; other species are classified as soft.


Hardness/Janka: 1450 (12% harder than Northern Red Oak).

Dimensional Stability: Average 9.9; 15% less stable than Red Oak.

Origin: Sugar Maple has a North American origin.

Availability: It is easily available.

Average and Maximum Lifespan: A Sugar Maple has the lifespan of 300 years on an average and 400 years maximum lifespan.


Sawing/Machining: Density makes machining difficult.

Sanding: Extra care must be taken during sanding and finishing; as sanding
marks and finishing lines are more obvious due to a maple’s density and light color.

Nailing: No known problems with nailing.

Finishing: Takes neutral finish well, but may be hard to stain.

Common Uses: Sugar Maple trees are a favorite as sugar trees because they grow later in spring and have high sap content. Sugar maples have one of the highest sap sugar content of any of the native maples. While the exact sap sugar content of a tree will vary depending on many factors including tree structure, location and weather, sugar maples generally average between 2.0 and 2.5 percent sap sugar content. However, It is not unusual to find many trees in a sugar bush well in excess of 3 percent, and occasionally higher. Maple sugar trees are also used to landscape, such as: large yards, campuses, parks and golf courses. They are a great shade tree.

Detailed Description

Plant Habit and Lifestyle: Plants Angiosperms, polygamous, (5–)15–25(–30) m tall.

Stems: Young Sugar Maple trees are up to 4-8 inches with smooth gray bark. Older trees develop furrows and ultimately long, irregular, thick vertical plates that appear to peal from the trunk in a vertical direction.

Buds: It has a hard, sharply pointed terminal bud that is dark brown and gray and looks like and upside down sugar cone.

Leaves: Its leaf is 3-5 inches wide; 5-lobed (rarely 3-lobed); bright green upper surface and a paler green lower surface; leaf margin without fine teeth.

Flowers: The flower of the Sugar Maple appears before its leaves in April, its flower has small yellowish green flowers.

Fruits: The Sugar Maple’s fruit is double-winged with parallel or slightly divergent wings with the seed located in the middle of the wings. When paired together its shape is a horseshoe. The winged seed approximately 1" to 1.75" long and the fruits mature in fall. The seed is called samara or double samara.

Habitat: The perfect habitat for the Sugar Maple is bottomland forests or dry-mixed hardwood forests or mixed hardwood forests or mixed forest edges or suburban plantings. It is zone 3 and the primary large, hardwood tree in the Northeastern U.S. forest and found on a variety of soils and site conditions, but does not tolerate excessively wet or dry sites; grows best on moist, deep, well-drained soils.

Special Diagnostic Characteristics: The sides of the Sugar Maple’s terminal leaf lobes are more or less parallel; leaf sinuses are rou