Acer saccharum, or the sugar maple, is a tree native to Eastern Canada. This beautiful, as well as highly useful tree is found throughout the state of Pennsylvania, spreading on the moist wooded slopes of the state.
Description of the Sugar Maple Tree
Besides being one of the main sources of maple syrup, the sugar maple is also an important timber tree, as its wood is hard and strong, giving it the name of “rock maple.” It can reach heights of 60’ to 80’, but can exceptionally exceed 120’. The sugar maple typically grows to its full size in 30-40 years reaching a height of about 16’ at the age of 10.
The leaves of the sugar maple tree are deciduous, meaning they will shed during the colder seasons. The leaves of the sugar maple turn bright red and orange, making it one of the most beautiful trees during the seasonal change.
The Perfect Conditions to Plant a Sugar Maple Tree
Sugar maples like well-drained, acidic or slightly alkaline soil. The soil in Pennsylvania tends to have clay in its composition, but the drainage level will be better as you move up on steeper slopes. This is why sugar maples typically grow on hillsides.
Be careful not to let the soil dry, but don’t overwater the sugar maple either. Keep the soil moist, especially during dry seasons, and let the tree take at least 4 hours of full sun a day.
Because this beautiful tree grows to be 50’ wide, make sure to leave it enough space when you plant the saplings.
A Tree with Medicinal Properties
The sugar maple has been used for many centuries. The natives used its bark for medicinal purposes and sweetened their food with the sap. Today, sugar maple wood is used to manufacture musical instruments, basketball courts, pool cues, and many other fine wooden items.
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