Sugar Maple

West Virginia State Tree


Sugar maple tree in summer foliage - photo by Bruce Marlin on Wikipedia
published under terms of Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Sugar Maple

West Virginia designated the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) as the official state tree in 1949, after a vote by public school students and civic organizations.

Sometimes called hard maple or rock maple, sugar maple is one of the largest and more important of the hardwoods. Sap from the trunks of sugar maples is used to make maple syrup. Sugar maple trees seldom flower until they are at least 22 years old, but they can also live 300 to 400 years.

Sugar maple tree trunks are tapped early in the spring to collect their sap.The sap is boiled into a syrup, or concentrated further with evaporation to produce maple sugar. 34 gallons of sap are required to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup (or 8 pounds of maple sugar). The leaves of sugar maple trees turn brilliant colors of red and gold in the fall. See State Trees for all 50 states.

West Virginia


Sugar maple leaves; photo by Naoko Takano on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Sugar maple leaves

Sugar maple tree in glorious fall colors; photo by  Steven Severinghaus on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike)

Sugar maple tree in glorious fall colors

Brilliant colors from the leaves of one sugar maple tree in the fall - taken from photo of autumn leaves by Chris Glass on Wikipedia - published under Creative Commons License 2.0.

Range of Acer saccharum (sugar maple) in North America (public domain image on Wikipedia).