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Sugar Maple Tree

Sugar maple trees are among the most abundant of the species of maples found in the northeastern United States. The sugar maple is the state tree of New York. The presence of a sugar maple tree leaf on the Canadian flag is evidence of its importance to Canada. Sugar maple trees can grow to a height of over one hundred feet, but most will range from seventy to ninety feet at maturity.

The leaves of a sugar maple tree are simple. They are generally five lobes, although there are some that have only three or four. The leaves are a dark green on the top and paler on the bottom. The leaves of sugar maple trees are generally three to five inches long, and have three primary veins running down the three large lobes. The gaps between the lobes are smooth and shallow, distinguishing the sugar maple trees from the closely related red maple tree, which has serrated gaps.

Sugar maple trees have slender twigs of a shiny reddish-brown color and have a white pith. Lenticels cover the twigs. The bark of a young sugar maple tree is dark gray, but ages to a dark brown. The bark develops rough vertical grooves and ridges, which will peel along the side when mid-aged, and then peel from the top or bottom at maturity.

The range of sugar maple trees in North America extends from Nova Scotia west to Ontario, south to Missouri, and east to Tennessee and northern Georgia. They are most common in New England and the Great lake states. The average temperature that will suffice for sugar maple trees is zero to fifty during January, and sixty to eighty for July. Sugar maple trees will live in a wide variety of soils, but prefer deep, moist, and well-drained soil.

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