Maple trees provide gorgeous fall foliage and rich maple syrup. Spread over parts of Asia, Europe and North America, the genus Acer has easily recognizable leaves and seeds.
Maple trees vary in size. While some resemble small shrubs, the largest varieties can grow as tall as 145 feet.
You can tell a maple by its leaf, which has three veins emanating out from the stem. Maple leaves change color in the autumn to shades of yellow, red and orange.
Maple trees have innocuous green flowers, which are self-pollinating. After pollination, these small flowers turn into seeds with characteristic wings.
Maple trees are perhaps best known for the producing staple of Sunday breakfasts, maple syrup. The sugar and black maples are the two types of maple trees most commonly tapped for syrup.
In addition to syrup, the maple tree has other commercial uses. Maple wood is valued for furniture making and musical instruments, especially drums, and maple blossoms are a key food in the honeybee's diet.
- Photo Credit DaBinsi/Flickr.com
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