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maple,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).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Aceraceae.
See H. and S. Nearing, The Maple Sugar Book (1950, repr. 1970).
(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.
REFERENCESPoiarkova, 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.
S. K. CHEREPANOV
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