Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)


Quick Facts

  • Most abundant hardwood in New York state
  • Sap used to make maple syrup
  • Wood used for flooring
  • During the 2001 baseball season, Barry Bonds switched from the traditional ash wood baseball bat to one made of sugar maple and hit 73 home runs, a new record.


Sugar maple is a prolific fall seed producer.  Although the fruit is a lightweight papery winged samara, the seed is heavy and fruit dispersal occurs over short distances. Seeds and seedlings are shade tolerant but growth is suppressed growth for many years before a light gap opens.  Sugar maple is appreciated for its brilliant fall color and maple syrup production.  Trees with large canopies may yield up to 60 gallons of sap per year to provide approximately 1.5 gallon syrup. The largest New York sugar maple has grown to a height of 95 feet and a trunk circumference off 230 inches.  This tree is located in Jefferson County.  The oldest North American sugar maple is located on Huron Mountain, Michigan.