Maple (Acer)

This week we are focusing on the genus of trees collectively known as Acers (Maples). We have a number of different maples on the Greenway from the common ‘Sycamore’ ‘Field ‘and ‘Norway’ Maples along the riversides and parks to the more decorative Red and Paperbark Maples in C.S. Lewis Square.

Most species are deciduous, and leaves typically have 5 pointed lobes. Almost all are renowned for their spectacular autumn leaf colour.

Photo Credit: Karen Oliver 

 

Did you know that Maple Syrup actually comes from the sap of Maple trees? Native Americans are thought to have been the first to ‘tap’ Maple trees by drilling holes into their trunks, collecting and then heating the sap. This process produces the tasty thick liquid which is known as syrup.

Maples are usually tapped at around 30 to 40 years of age. The average maple tree will produce 35 to 50 litres of sap per season and seasons last for four to eight weeks, depending on the weather. Maples can continue to be tapped for sap until they are over 100 years old. It is no wonder then that the Maple leaf is the emblem of Canada. It is used on the country’s flag, pennies, coat of arms and countless pieces of tourist memorabilia. It is of course also their National Tree.

Did you know?

73 million litres of Maple syrup are produced in Canada per year which is around 80 percent of world production.

 

Photo credit: Karen Oliver

Where to find it?

You can find maples among the large existing trees in Cregagh Glen, Orangfield Park and Victoria Park as well as along the rivers at Dixon Playing Fields, The Hollow and Flora Street Walkway. We have planted some as individuals in parkland areas and you'll be able to spot the smaller leaved varieties in C.S. Lewis Square. We may discuss these in more detail as they start to change colour in the coming weeks....

Be Part of it…

Get out there and see how many different Maple trees you can spot. Have we missed any? Let us know as you start to see the leaves change colour and as always send us your pictures!