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Maple tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Maple trees are very common throughout Central Europe and parts of West Asia. The tree is planted in North America and often called European sycamore. The scientific name of the maple tree is acer pseudoplatanus and is part of the aceraceae family. The trees are planted in streets and city parks as shade trees. The big leaves and broad spreading crown provides excellent shade. This invasive maple species handles both windy conditions and salty sea air well.

maple trees or european sycamore

Maple tree, leaf and fruit description

maple european sycamore leaves barkMaple trees can grow to heights up to 98 feet or 30 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.

Maple leaves are arranged opposite palmate with five coarse toothed lobes each. They are dark green colored on the sun side and paler green on the other side. During autumn the leaves change color before they fall from the tree.

Maple leaves can reach lengths up to 8 inches or 20 cm and. During summer winged shaped fruits start to grow and hang in clusters beneath the maple leaves.

The fruits change color from green to brown during summer and fall to the ground with the leaves in autumn.

Maple tree bark and trunk

Young maple trees have smooth grey green brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark is flanking into plates and gets a nice looking dark grey to pinkish color. The trunk of the maple tree is moderate long with many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.

Maple wood properties and durability

Fresh maple heartwood is creamy white colored that darkens to creamy yellow in time. There isn't much color difference between the heartwood and the sapwood of the tree. Maple wood is known for its straight grain and wavy fine texture, moderate heavy, medium strength and bending properties. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 625 kg per cubic meter. The durability of maple wood is classed as V low durability.

Maple wood working tips and uses

Maple or European sycamore wood is not as popular as other maple species like the red maple. The lumber is moderate soft and nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine.

maple tree or european sycamore wood usesPre drilling is advised when screws or nails are used but watch out because the lumber can burn easy. It is recommended to let the wood acclimatize to the environment before handling it.

Maple wood is used in a wide range of products like

  • turned articles
  • veneer
  • flooring
  • music instruments especially violins!
  • sculptures
  • paneling
  • and more

More maple tree pictures!