Acer saccharum

Common Names: Sugar maple, rock maple
Category: Trees
Sub-category: Maples

A deciduous tree, it is native to the hardwood forests of northeastern North America. Sugar maple is best known for its bright fall foliage and for being the primary source of maple syrup. The leaves are up to 20 cm long and equally wide, with five palmate lobes. The basal lobes are relatively small, while the upper lobes are larger and deeply notched. The fall color is often spectacular, ranging from bright yellow through orange to fluorescent red-orange. Sugar maples also have a tendency to color unevenly in fall. In some trees, all colors can be seen at the same time. The leaf buds are pointy and brown-colored. The recent year's growth twigs are green, and turn dark brown. The flowers are in corymbs of five to 10 together, yellow-green and without petals; flowering occurs in early spring. The fruit is a double samara with two winged seeds, the seeds are globose, 7-10 mm in diameter, the wing 2 to 3 cm long. The seeds fall from the tree in autumn, where they must be exposed to 90 days of sub-40 degrees (F) temperatures to break their coating down. Germination of A. saccharum is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past.

A very common tree in Connecticut, can be found in most deciduous or mixed forests, and both rural an urban areas.

Edible Notes: The sap is boiled and used to make maple syrup, maple candy, etc...
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.