Acer saccharum

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Acer saccharum

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Order [[]]
Family [[]]
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2n =

Origin : area of origin

wild or cultivated

Uses summary


Popular names





Acer saccharinum Wangenh. ROCK MAPLE. SUGAR MAPLE. North America. This large, handsome tree must be included among cultivated food plants, as in some sections of New England groves are protected and transplanted for the use of the tree to furnish sugar. The tree is found from 48° north in Canada, to the mountains in Georgia and from Nova Scotia to Arkansas and the Rocky Mountains. The sap from the trees growing in maple orchards may give as an average one pound of sugar to four gallons of sap, and a single tree may furnish four or five pounds, although extreme yields have been put as high as thirty-three pounds from a single tree. The manufacture of sugar from the sap of the maple was known to the Indians, for Jefferys[1], 1760, says that in Canada "this tree affords great quantities of a cooling and wholesome liquor from which they make a sort of sugar," and Jonathan Carver[2], in 1784, says the Nandowessies Indians of the West consume the sugar which they have extracted from the maple tree." In 1870, the Winnebagoes and Chippewas are said often to sell to the Northwest Fur Company fifteen thousand pounds of sugar a year. The sugar season among the Indians is a sort of carnival, and boiling candy and pouring it out on the snow to cool is the pastime of the children.

  1. Jefferys, T. Nat. Hist. Amer. 41. 1760.
  2. Carver, J. Travs. No. Amer. 496. 1778.
Sturtevant, Notes on edible plants, 1919.