Hard rock maple is a colloquial and a marketing term used to describe the sugar maple tree, Acer saccharum, an ornamental tree that achieves a height of 60 to 75 feet.
Sugar maple is also sometimes referred to as hard maple or rock maple, and is one of the largest and most important hardwood trees, according to the United States Forest Service. It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8 and will grow in full sunshine and in a variety of soils.
The sugar maple gets its name from the exceptionally hard, dense nature of the wood's composition. The Arbor Day Foundation notes that the wood of hard rock maple is highly valued for furniture because of its beauty and strength, and it is used in a variety of products such as bowling pins and baseball bats.
The hard rock maples grows in areas with cool, moist climates, and is scattered predominantly across the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Of course, in addition to the value of the wood, the sugar maple tree is the primary source of the tree sap that produces maple syrup.
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