Lincoln Library Sugar Maple

The iconic Sugar Maple, also known as Hard Maple, Head Maple, Bird’s-eye Maple and Sugartree Maple, is one of America’s best-loved trees. No other tree beats the Sugar Maple as a state tree. It is claimed by New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont. Its leaves turn spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall. Its hard, heavy and strong wood is excellent for producing furniture, wall paneling, flooring, veneer, wood handles, bowling alleys, baseball bats, pool cues, skateboards and much more.

But perhaps the greatest quality of the Sugar Maple is the ability to restore the natural habitats of New England. The world became small during the last centuries. And now our gardens and forests are dotted with plants from all over the world, which we either planted or brought inadvertently as seed. Some of these plants thrive in our climate and overpower native plants. And local wild animals and bugs necessary to pollinate our forests and farms often cannot eat or pollinate foreign plants. They sometimes even starve eating a similar, unwholesome plant from another country.

If you have the space and live outside the city — Sugar Maples can grow 100’ tall and do not do well in urban areas — consider planting one of these beautiful trees. It will feed and shelter native birds and wild animals, and help local pollinators support our crops and forests.

The Sugar Maple is the only tree now used in commercial production of maple syrup. Along with honey, maple syrup was the primary sweetener used by Native Americans and early European settlers.