Acer spp.

 

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Family: Aceraceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maple

 

 

 

Maple (Acer spp.) contains about 120 species native to Asia [16], North America [13],
Mexico and Guatemala [1], and the European/Mediterranean region [6], with the rest in Eurasia, Malaysia and northern Africa. The Maples can be separated into two groups based on the ray widths of their microscopic anatomy, the soft maple group and the hard maple group. Species within each group look alike microscopically. Acer
is the classical Latin name of maple.

Acer barbatum- hammock maple, Florida maple, southern sugar maple, sugar maple

Acer circinatum- vine maple, mountain maple

Acer glabrum-bark maple, California mountain maple, Douglas maple, dwarf maple, mountain maple, New Mexico maple, rocky mountain maple, shrubby maple, sierra maple, soft maple

Acer grandidentatum- bigtooth maple, canyon maple, hard maple, large-toothed maple, sugar maple, ultravioletalde bigtooth maple, western sugar maple

Acer leucoderm-chalk maple, palebark maple, sugar maple, whitebark maple

Acer macrophyllum*- big-leaf, bigleaf maple, broadleaf maple, broadleaved maple, bugleaf maple, Californian maple, Oregon maple, pacific maple, white maple

Acer negundo*-?ash maple, ashleaf maple, black ash, boxelder, boxelder maple, California boxelder, cut-leaved maple, inland boxelder, manitoba maple, negundo maple, red river maple, stinking ash, sugar ash, three-leaved maple, western boxelder

Acer nigrum*- black maple, black sugar maple, hard maple, rock maple, sugar maple, white maple

Acer pennsylvaticum- buckwood, goose-foot maple, moosewood, mountain alder, northern maple, Pennsylvanian maple, striped dogwood, striped maple, whistlewood

Acer rubrum*-?Carolina red maple, drummond maple, drummond red maple, Oregon maple, red maple, scarlet maple, shoe-peg maple, silver maple, soft maple, southern soft maple, swamp maple, three-pointed-leaf maple, three-toothed red maple, water maple, white maple

Acer saccharinum*- creek maple, papascowood, river maple, silver maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, swamp maple, water maple, white maple

Acer saccharum*- bird’s-eye maple, black maple, curly maple, hard maple, rock maple, rough maple, sugar, sugar maple, sugar-tree, sweet maple, thumb-nail maple

Acer spicatum-?goose-foot maple, low maple, moose maple, mountain maple, mountain maple-bush, spiked maple, water maple

*commercial species

Distribution

Distribution:
Acer rubrum Acer saccharinum Acer saccharum

Throughout most of North America, with commercial species in the eastern United States and Canada and the western coast of the United States (bigleaf maple).

 

The Tree

Maples grow to heights of 120 ft (36 m), with a diameter of 3 ft (1 m). Forest grown trees may have a clear bole of 60 ft (18 m).

The Wood

General

Acer rubrum Acer saccharinum Acer saccharum

Maple lumber comes principally from the Middle Atlantic and Lake States, which together account for about two-thirds of the production. The wood of sugar maple and black maple is known as hard maple; that of silver maple, red maple, and boxelder as soft maple. The sapwood of the maples is commonly white with a slight reddish-brown tinge; the heartwood is light reddish brown, but sometimes is considerably darker. The sapwood is from 3 to 5+ inches (76 to 127+ mm) thick.

Hard maple has a fine, uniform texture, turns well on a lathe, is resistant to abrasion and has no characteristic odor or taste. It is heavy, strong, stiff, hard, and resistant to shock, and it has large shrinkage. Sugar maple is generally straight grained but the grain also occurs as "birds-eye," "curly," and "fiddleback" grain.

The wood of soft maples resembles that of hard maples but is not as heavy, hard and strong, the better grade of soft maple has been substituted for hard maple in furniture. The sapwood in the soft maples is considerably wider than that in the hard maples and has a lighter heartwood color.

Maple lumber sometimes has olive or greenish black discolored areas known as mineral streak or mineral stain, which may be due to injury. Maple wood stains well and takes a high polish. It is intermediate in gluing and has low decay resistance.

 

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

X106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple)

Green

0.44

1.1

7,400

3,240

450

8.7

620

1,110

Dry

0.48

1.45

10,700

5,950

750

7.8

850

1,730

Acer nigrum (black maple)

Green

0.52

1.33

7,900

3,270

600

12.8

840

1,130

Dry

0.57

1.62

1,330

6,680

1,020

12.5

1,180

1,820

Acer pennsylvaticum (striped maple)

Green

0.44

Dry

0.46

Acer rubrum (red maple)

Green

0.49

1.39

7,700

3,280

400

11.4

700

1,150

Dry

0.54

1.64

13,400

6,540

1,000

12.5

950

1,850

Acer saccharinum (silver maple)

Green

0.44

0.94

5,800

2,490

370

11.0

590

1,050

Dry

0.47

1.14

8,900

5,220

740

8.3

700

1,480

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Green

0.56

1.55

9,400

4,020

640

13.3

970

1,460

Dry

0.63

1.83

15,800

7,830

1,470

16.5

1,450

2,330

aWML = Work to maximum load.

bReference (98).

cReference (59).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple)

Tangential

7.1

5.7

2.4

Radial

3.7

3.0

1.2

Volumetric

11.6

9.3

3.9

Acer nigrum (black maple)

Tangential

9.3

7.4

3.1

Radial

4.8

3.8

1.6

Volumetric

14.0

11.2

4.7

Acer pennsylvaticum (striped maple)

Tangential

8.6

Radial

43.2

Volumetric

12.3

Acer rubrum (red maple)

Tangential

8.2

6.6

2.7

Radial

4.0

3.2

1.3

Volumetric

12.6

10.5

4.4

Acer saccharinum (silver maple)

Tangential

7.2

5.8

2.4

Radial

3.0

2.4

1.0

Volumetric

12.0

9.6

4.0

Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

Tangential

9.9

7.6

3.2

Radial

4.8

3.9

1.6

Volumetric

14.7

11.9

5.0

aBirch shrinks considerably during drying. References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

Condition

4/4,5/4,6/4 stock

8/4 stock

10/4 stock

12/4 stock

16/4 stock

Soft maplesb

   

   

   

   

NA

Hard maplesc

   

   

   

   

   

Working Properties: The wood turns well, is harder to work than softer woods, and has high nail-holding ability. It stains and polishes well, but is intermediate in gluing.

Durability: Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.

Preservation: Moderately resistant to penetration with preservatives.

Uses: : Lumber, distillation, veneer, crossties, paper pulp, flooring, furniture, pallets, boxes and crates, shoe lasts, handles, woodenware, novelties, spools and bobbins, bowling alleys, dance floors, piano frames, bowling pins, cutting blocks, pulpwood and turnery.

Toxicity: May cause allergic bronchial asthma, dermatitis and rhinitis (40).

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

5.?Betts, H.S. 1959. Maple. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, American Wood Series 496611-59.

6.?Boone, R.S.; Kozlik, C.J.; Bois, P.J.; Wengert, E.M. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woods-temperate and tropical. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPL-GTR-57. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

29.?Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York: van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

40.?Hausen, B.M. 1981. Woods injurious to human health. A manual. New York: Walter de Gruyter.

55. ?Little, Jr., E.L. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

59. Markwardt, L.J.; Wilson, T.R.C. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. Tech. Bull. 479. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

68. Panshin, A.J.; de Zeeuw, C. 1980. Textbook of wood technology, 4th ed. New York: McGraw—Hill Book Co..

74. Record, S.J.; Hess R.W. 1943. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press.

86. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. Ag. Handb. 188. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

90. Summitt, R.; Sliker, A. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc. Vol. 4.

98. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1987. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Agric. Handb. 72. (Rev.) Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
466 p.