Common Name sugar maple
Form large tree
Origin North America
Light sun to shade
Edible sap for sugar (& inner bark can be used)
Acer saccharum is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m by 12 m at a slow rate.
It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Oct to December. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
The sap contains quite a large proportion of sugar. This can be used as a refreshing drink, or be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water, and can be harvested in late winter or early spring, (the flow is best on a warm sunny day after a frost) Yields of 40 - 100 litres per tree can be obtained. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates.
The sap contains 2 - 6% sugar, thus about 32 litres are required to make a litre of maple syrup. Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use.
Seeds - cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot
Inner bark - cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.
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