Sugar maples get a lot of play this time of year but do you know their “poorer” cousin? This tree does produce sap whihc can be made into maple syrup but a lot more sap is required to match the flavor of traditional sugar maple syrup.
This tree’s pale green to bluish twigs standout against the drab beginnings of spring.
It has compound leaves (a leaf divided into smaller leaves). Often, in this area it will display 3 leaflets rather than four but it is not to be confused with poison ivy.
While the tree isn’t recognized or prized for sap or wood production it does produce soft wood for turning and carving. This wood typically displays pinks and greens which makes for interesting decorative bowls.
Demure there is no flaming fan far at the end of the season. Unlike sugar, red, and black, maples fiery exit into winter this tree just quietly exits off the side stage with barely a notice.
While hiking you’ll often see it growing along the edges of muddy creeks and hillsides. Sharing the peaceful shade with cottonwood, willow, and hackberry trees.
The bark is thin and a pale gray. as the tree aged the bark becomes slightly scaly and furrowed.
Click HERE to find out the tree.