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common name for the genus Acer of the Aceraceae, a family of deciduous trees and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, found mainly in temperate regions and on tropical mountain slopes. Acer, the principal genus, includes the many maples and the box elder. Maples are popular as shade trees and often have brilliantly colored foliage in the fall. Several E North American species provide valuable timber, notably the sugar, hard, or rock, maple (A. saccharum), and the more brittle-timbered black maple (A. nigrum). Their strong, close-grained, easily worked hardwood is used in shipbuilding and aircraft construction, for floors, fuel, and wood pulp, and in many other industries. Bird's-eye and curly maple are decorative cuts used for cabinetmaking. In addition, these two maples are the main sources of maple sugar. A prevalent and widely distributed North American species is the swamp, or red, maple (A. rubrum). The box elder, or ash-leaved maple (A. negundo), is a smaller North American species also planted as a shade tree; its softer wood is used for woodenware, cheap furniture, and paper pulp. Several European and Japanese maples have been introduced to the United States as ornamentals. The only other genus of the family is Dipteronia, consisting of two species indigenous to China. All members of the family have characteristic winged fruits. Maple syrup is the concentrated sap obtained for commercial purposes from the sugar maple and the black maple. Sap flows intermittently for periods of up to six weeks in the spring, is caught in buckets, strained, and concentrated by boiling to a density of 11 lb (4.9 kg) per gal for syrup or evaporated further for sugar. The syrup and sugar, first prepared by Native Americans (by dropping hot rocks into the sap or by freezing out the water) became the staple sweetening used by the colonists and remained important until c.1875. As cane sugar—with a higher saccharine content and a lower manufacturing cost—gained precedence and as the maple forest stands, or "sugar bush," were depleted, maple sugar and syrup became scarcer and are now used mainly for confectionery and for flavoring, especially of tobacco. Vermont and New York are the chief producing states. Maples are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Aceraceae.


See H. and S. Nearing, The Maple Sugar Book (1950, repr. 1970).

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A hard, tough, moderately high-density wood, light to dark brown in color, with a uniform texture; used for flooring and wood trim. See also: Douglas fir
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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When the robin birds start to sing in your maple tree in the spring, that's the time to stick a tap in the tree and start harvesting maple water, drink it fresh from the tree. It's slightly sweet and extremely healthy for the body. High in magnesium. Your body needs magnesium more than calcium or potassium- it keeps your heart beating, your blood flowing. Without magnesium in your system, your heart stops and you die. If someone's having a heart attack, put cayenne pepper under their tongue, it's high in magnesium, just like maple. Eating the nut from the little "helicopter wing" keys from a maple tree is a great source of magnesium (although not too great tasting). Maple syrup is maple water that's been boiled-down, some claim it cleans kidneys and liver. Maple flowers are also edible. Inner bark tea used for colds, coughs, lung and kidney problems, gonorrhea, skin problems, blood purifier, diarrhea, duiretic, expectorant.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Acer), a genus of trees or shrubs of the family Aceraceae. The leaves are deciduous, opposite, and either entire or pinnately compound. The flowers, which are generally yellowish green, are in corymbs or racemes. The fruit is double winged. There are approximately 150 species, distributed in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North and Central America. Twenty-nine species are found in the USSR—in the European USSR, the Far East, and Middle Asia. Maples grow in deciduous and mixed forests; pure stands of maple are rarely formed. The wood has many industrial uses; for example, it is used in the manufacture of furniture, musical instruments, and other products. Maple sap contains up to 2–5 percent sugar. Maple trees yield nectar. The various forms of the leaves (which in autumn turn red, orange, or yellow) impart an ornamental quality to maples.

The three most common species in the USSR are the Norway maple (Acer platanoides), the common maple, or hedge maple (A. campestre), and A. tataricum. The Norway maple measures up to 30 m in height and sometimes up to 1 m in diameter. It grows in the European USSR with other broad-leaved varieties of maples and with conifers. The Norway maple is a shade-tolerant and frost-resistant tree. The common maple measures up to 15–20 m in height and up to 50–60 cm in diameter. It grows in the forest-steppe zone of the European USSR (as far as the Volga), as well as in the Crimea and the Caucasus. It is droughtresistant and relatively salt-resistant. The species A. tataricum, which is a small tree or a large shrub, is distributed in the broad-leaved forests of the European USSR. It is drought-resistant. The box elder (A. negundo), which is native to America, is used for landscaping arid regions.


Poiarkova, A. I. “Botaniko-geograficheskii obzor klenov SSSR i sviazi s istoriei vsego roda Acer L.” In Flora i sistematika vysshikh rastenii, issue 1. Leningrad, 1933. (Tr. Botanicheskogo instituta AN SSSR, series 1.)
Flora SSSR, vol. 14. Leningrad-Moscow, 1949.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Any of various broad-leaved, deciduous trees of the genus Acer in the order Sapindales characterized by simple, opposite, usually palmately lobed leaves and a fruit consisting of two long-winged samaras.
The hard, light-colored, close-grained wood, especially from sugar maple (A. saccharum).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A hard, tough, moderately high-density wood of North America and Europe, light to dark brown in color; has a uniform texture; used for flooring, wood turning, etc. also see bird’s-eye maple.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any tree or shrub of the N temperate genus Acer, having winged seeds borne in pairs and lobed leaves: family Aceraceae
2. the hard close-grained wood of any of these trees, used for furniture and flooring
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A symbolic mathematics package by B. Char, K. Geddes, G. Gonnet, M. Monagan and S. Watt of the University of Waterloo, Canada and ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 1980. Version: Maple V.

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