The maple tree is well-known for producing its delicious syrup worldwide. Maple comes in a variety of around 128 species. Their genus is known as Acer and the maple belongs to the Sapindaceae or Aceraceae family. You can look out for maple trees almost all over the world but mainly they can be seen in Northern Africa, Europe, and North America. Do you know? The maple tree is considered the national tree in Canada. Even on the Canadian flag, we can see a symbol of a Maple tree. This symbol signifies the strength and endurance of the people of Canada. Known for its different colors, the Maple leaf has many species. From red to orange, yellow to brown, these leaves add beauty to nature.
Scientific Classification of a Maple Tree
The maple tree is originated from the kingdom of Plantae. The subkingdom of the maple is known as Tracheobionta. Talking about the superphylum of the maple, it is Spermatophyta and the phylum is Magnoliophyta. Similar to its phylum, the class of the maple tree is considered as Magnoliopsida, and the subclass is termed as Rosidae. The maple follows the genus of Acer and its order is called Sapindales.
Classification of the Maple Tree
- The maple trees vary in size and are known as deciduous plants.
- However, in some parts of the world, such as in the Southern Asia and Mediterranean region, these maple trees remain evergreen.
- For the growth and development of the maple tree, it requires enough amount of sunlight.
- In the sunlight, these maple trees can reach a certain height of 10-15 meters.
- Maple trees can also tolerate extreme weather conditions like drought. These trees can also grow in shade as well.
- When the atmospheric conditions are good, the maple trees can survive as long as 300 years.
- The leaves of the maple tree are palmate. Having lobed leaves, it possesses distinguished leaflets. These leaflets contain almost 3-9 veins on them.
- The maple leaves are known for their winged shape. Since they are of this shape, they bear fruits like Samaras, polynomes, maple keys, whirlybirds, etc.
Maple Tree Root System
When we look at these beautiful crimson red maple leaves during autumn, we often fail to notice the extensive root system of these leaves. It is very important to look for the roots of you want to plant a maple tree in your backyard. The roots of the Maple tree are of different kinds. Some roots may seem to be compact while others are spreading ones. Have you ever imagined why maple trees are the reason for damage to porches, concrete sidewalks, and buildings? It is due to their size. The maple trees have roots that extend upto 12-18 inches deep into the ground and cover a massive distance of 25 feet. The Silver Maple tree’s roots are deep, intrusive, and powerful. As a result, within a few years, they are exposed directly and have the ability to burst down sidewalks and other adjacent surfaces. As a result, it’s best to preserve a safe distance from Maple trees and construction materials. Norway Maple trees have a weak root system when compared to other trees. However, they are located at the surface and are not capable of causing significant damage.
What are the Different Types of Maple Trees?
You may have seen red-colored maple leaves all around our nature but there are approx 100 species of maple trees worldwide. What makes the maple trees different from others is their shape of leaves. Some leaves of the maple trees consist of finger-like shape projections, which are almost the same in number in all the varying species. You may also have observed beautiful colored maple leaves which are so pleasing to the eyes. We will enlist some of the most common types of maple trees with their features.
Red Maple Tree
The most abundant and commonly found species on the earth are the red maple trees. Found in central and eastern North America, these leaves are named on the basis of their color and stem during the autumn season. For example, these types of maple trees turn their leaves and stem red during snowy winters. The fruits of this tree are also red in color. Some of the common names of this tree are red maple, soft maple, water maple, and swamp maple. The scientific name of the red maple is Acer rubrum.
Features of the Red Maple Tree
- This tree can survive in almost all soil conditions. Most commonly the red maple tree can be cultivated in swampy, clayey, acidic, moist, loamy, sandy, rich, well-drained, and on poor dry soil too.
- The red maple can grow its best in wet soil conditions.
- The speed at which this red maple grows is from medium to fast pace.
- The red maple trees have 2-3 cm long leaves, consisting of 3-5 lobes.
Japanese Maple Tree
Originated from Japan, this maple tree is widely known for its beautiful colors. It has a variety of leaves with many colors. Apart from Japan, this Japanese maple tree can be found in other countries as well such as China, Korea, and Eastern Mongolia. The scientific name of the Japanese maple tree is Acer palmatum. Other than its scientific name, this tree can also be called Red Emperor Maple, Palmate Maple, Smooth Japanese Maple, etc.
Features of the Japanese Maple Tree
- The soil that the Japanese maple tree prefers is rich and well-drained soil. They can also survive in shady areas.
- This tree can grow upto a height of 25-30 feet.
- In drought-like areas, this Japanese maple tree cannot grow and survive like most other maple trees.
- Talking about the leaves of the Japanese maple tree, they are of the palmate venation and possess 4-9 pointed lobes. These lobes are almost 4-6 centimeters long and wide.
Norway Maple Tree
Recognized for withstanding extreme conditions, Norway maple trees can grow vigorously and they are strong enough compared to other trees of their kind. Because they’re generally put on roadsides for protection, these trees must contend with not only automobile fumes and heat, but also road salt, which can harm their roots. Eastern and Central Europe, as well as Western Asia, are home to Norway’s maple trees. The scientific name of the Norway maple tree is Acer platanoides and its common name is the same i.e. Norway maple.
Features of the Norway Maple Tree
- The soil needed for the growth and development of the Norway maple tree is moist and well-drained soil.
- The roots of this tree always develop closer to the ground.
- The Norway maple tree can extend its height upto 20-30 meters or 60-100 feet.
- The Norway maple tree is known for its bark which is grey-brown in color and is composed of shallow grooves.
- As mentioned above, the Norway maple tree can grow even in alkaline and acidic soil. It can also withstand drought conditions.
Sugar Maple Tree
These trees are used for making the sweetest maple syrups. The sugar maple tree can change its color during the fall season. It has beautiful fall color which changes from bright orange to yellow to red, with the change in weather. It has a huge crown size. Hence, people use these trees to cover their heads in the shade. The scientific name of the sugar maple tree is Acer saccharum and it can also be named a rock maple tree.
Features of the Sugar Maple Tree
- This tree comes under the deciduous plant system.
- The sugar maple tree is considered to be the tallest maple tree, extending upto 45 meters or 148 feet.
- To grow this long, the sugar maple tree needs partial to full sunlight and it also requires enough watering.
- The soil of these trees should be well-drained.
Silver Maple Tree
The most common tree in the USA is the silver maple tree. However, it can also be seen in the central and eastern United States and southeastern Canada. The leaves of the silver maple tree are very delicate to touch. It consists of five pointed lobes. You might be surprised to know that this tree derived its name from its sparkly leaves that blow away from the wind during the fall season. The scientific name of the silver maple tree is Acer saccharinum. Some of the most common names of this tree can be Creek Maple, Soft Maple, Silverleaf Maple, Large Maple, Swamp Maple, Water Maple, and White Maple.
Features of the Sweet Maple Tree
- The sweet maple tree can develop in flood areas also.
- The soil that these trees require is moist soil.
- The sweet maple trees are of deciduous plant kind. One amazing thing about the sweet maple tree is its green foliage can turn into deep green-colored foliage during the onset of the autumn season.
- This tree can grow upto 15-25 meters or 49-82 feet in height.
- The leaves of the sweet maple tree are palmate with 8-16 centimeters in length.
- While the wood of the sugar maple tree is considered weak, its roots are really strong.
Uses of the Maple Tree
- The maple tree is used in making a variety of syrups. This happens by boiling of the maple sap.
- For making maple syrup, the maple tree needs to be at least 30 years old.
- The maple syrup is good for intaking essential vitamins and minerals in the body.
- Sometimes, the musicians use the maple tree wood in making instruments such as guitars, viola, violin, and drums.
- When the maple wood is dried, it is utilized to make charcoal and in the firewood.
- Baseball bats, butcher’s blocks, furniture, and bowling pins can also be made up using the maple tree wood.
- The formation of paper can also be done using the maple tree.
- People utilize the maple tree for obtaining shade and some animals live under the maple tree as their shelter.