Characteristics of Maple Trees

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Various types of maple trees are grown, but they all have similar aspects. The maple tree is found all up and down the east coast of the U.S. Four main types of maple trees exist, with the red maple growing all the way into Texas and Minnesota.

Sugar Maple

  • The sugar maple tree has bright green leaves that are between 3 and 5 inches wide and have five lobes. The underside of these leaves is a pale green. These trees grow thick, vertical plates that look like they are peeling vertically. The twigs are shiny, brown and slender. The fruit from the sugar maple tree has double, parallel wings that grow to about 1-inch long in the fall.

Black Maple

  • Characteristics of the black maple tree include leaves that appear similar to the leaves of the sugar maple, except the leaf and stem are thicker than in the sugar maple. The bark looks like it has vertical peels; however, it is darker in color and has very deep grooves in it. The twigs look like they have growths on them, and the fruit has a similar butterfly shape like the sugar maple, but it is bigger.

Red Maple

  • The red maple tree grows in the more places than any other maple. It spans from the east coast to the Midwest and from Canada to Florida. The leaves are about 6 inches wide with three lobes. V-shaped veins and little teeth are along the edges of the leaves. When the leaves are mature, the bottom of them look white. The bark is light gray but grows into bark that has gray and black ridges and what looks like scales. The twigs are thin, shiny and red. The fruit has two wings and grows to about an inch long.

Silver Maple

  • The silver maple has leaves that grow the biggest at up to 7 inches. The top of the leaf is light green, and the bottom is silver. The bark looks silver or gray when the tree is young and looks red and shaggy as it matures due to the plates on the tree. The twigs look the same as the twigs of the red maple, but they produce a bad odor. The fruit has two wings and is 2 inches long.

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  • Photo Credit maple tree seeds image by cvrgrl from Fotolia.com
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