Squirrels, Birds, Butterflies, Butterfly Larvae, Bees, Other Showy Insects
One of the best of the larger shade trees. It is susceptible to salt (Dirr).
Sugar maple is Canada's national tree, as represented by the ""maple leaf"" on our flag (Kershaw).
These trees are very sensitive to air pollution, diseases, insects, drought and other weather conditions.
Besides the Maritimes, this tree also grows well in southern and central Ontario and southern Quebec in rich soil with some lime content.
The leaves have 5 taper pointed lobes of a deep yellowish-green which becomes brilliant orange or bright red in the Fall.
The dark-gray bark has vertical irregular ridges that usually curl towards one side. The wood is hard and strong, light yellow-brown with a curly grain called ""bird's eye"". This is why it has often been used for everything from furniture to crafts and flooring (Farrar).
First Nations people taught settlers how to use the potash rich ashes as fertilizer, which later took off as an export in itself(Lauriault).
This is our principal source of maple syrup and sugar. It requires 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of syrup.
Maple forests are in danger...(from)...atmospheric pollution and acidic precipitation (Lauriault).
Pollinated by (Colletes) cellophane bees, who make their nests in the ground lined with a cellophane-like secretion (David Suzuki Foundation).
Insect Relationships: While in flower, this tree attracts bees which are not very successful pollinators for this species.
Rosy Maple Moth lays its larvae here and many kinds of Maple Borers, Flies and Leafhoppers are drawn to the tree.
After the bark is damaged butterflies including Mourning Cloak, Comma and Red Admiral feed on the sap.
Mammal Relationships: Upland gamebirds and songbirds eat buds and seeds. The Yellowbellied Sapsucker drills into the bark to feed on the sap.
The Eastern Chipmunk, Fox Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Southern Flying Squirrel, Meadow Vole and White-Footed Mouse also eat the seeds of the samaras. White-Tailed Deer and Elk browse on leaves and twigs while the Beaver feeds on the wood Because of heart rot, old maple trees provide dens for tree squirrels and such cavity-nesting birds as the Black-Capped Chickadee, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker and Screech Owl. (Illinois Wildflowers)
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