Sooner than you know it the days will be above freezing and the sap will be flowing! We use stainless steel chafing pans propped up on concrete blocks over an open fire to rapidly boil our sap. By combining observations about the age of the tree, along with the color and texture of bark, plus geographic information, you will be able to make a reasonable guess as to the species. This hardy tree and its varieties typically produce very colorful fall foliage that is red to reddish purple. Identifying opposite branching is only one component to identifying maples. Look at and feel the bark, if possible, if the tree is mature. It displays similar characteristics: dense, rounded crown; dark, furrowed bark… To begin identifying a tree by its bark, look at a larger part of the tree—its bark. The red maple is usually a medium-sized tree with a moderate growth rate. Twigs are … The most common exfoliating species is the paperbark maple. We published a complete guide to help absolutely ANYONE harvest sap from maple trees and turn it into pure, wonderful syrup. I have compiled this gallery to augment your study of trees in winter to better identify tree species. Most of the evaporation is typically done on an evaporator in a sugarhouse or, in our case, over a fire outside. Click here to join our mailing list and gain free access to our templates! Trees that have scaly bark are shagbark hickory, strawberry tree, maple and river birch. Here are some examples from our land: Those all look pretty darn different to me! Its branches are quite … If you can identify a tree has opposite branching and think it could possibly be a maple, there are really only two trees you need to rule out: Ash and Dogwood. Anyone with an interest in tree identification would know that a tree can be spotted by any of its distinctive parts—its leaf, flower, fruit, cone or seed, type of branch, bark or crown formation. The cankers of this fungus will look like small shallow depressions on the bark with warts in the center of ea… This is the best maple tree bark identification characteristic you can find out there. It is absolutely possible to ID the maples on your land in winter so you can make your own syrup. The most common exfoliating species is the paperbark maple. Steganosporium ovatum cankers appear as a secondary infection on the maple tree. When the syrup is getting close to finished, we run it through a filter (cheesecloth will work) and finish boiling on our kitchen stove until it is boiling at the right temperature. This is why identifying the branching pattern is so important! About the Author Anne Krantz admits, “I literally stumbled into the fascinating the Natural Resources Stewards Program and followed that with the comprehensive Master Gardener training.” The lesser known purpleblow maple has very rough, fissured bark, which may have a purple tinge when the tree is young. For example, the autumn blaze maple tree is a hybrid of a red maple and a silver maple, and will have characteristics of each parent. Ash tree bark is smooth and pale grey in saplings. Dogwood bark has a cool blocky look that reminds me of alligators: In summary: To identify a maple tree in the winter, you have to confirm opposite branching and paired buds, and then look at the bark to rule out the ash and flowering dogwood. Red Maple Tree Identification Red maple trees can grow to be 90 feet tall. Maple tree ID Note: There are thousands of species of maple trees in the world—we cannot easily identify maple species over the phone or via email. Old sugar maple measures three feet wide or about 1 metre, estimated at 150 to 200 years old. Maples are diverse, and can be smooth when the tree is younger and can get rather shaggy as it ages. The vertical strips or plates on the trunk tend to peel and flake off. Distribution: Bigleaf maple grows on the west side of the Cascades and Sierras from British Columbia through most of California. The bark of a black maple tree is similar to that of a sugar maple, but it’s a little darker and the grooves are deeper. We try to avoid spending too much on equipment and supplies so we can understand the process and be more involved. The fungus takes control of the tree when the tree suffers ongoing weakness brought on from maple tree decline. This ornamental landscaping tree has maple-like leaves, pale gray bark, and pairs of sycamore ball seeds. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. Bark for Tree Identification The bark of a tree is what we can all see readily as leaves, needles and buds are usually above eyesight. Crushed twigs do not emit a rank odor as does the silver maple. A good illustrated guidebook can be helpful, as the bark of mature trees may be different from the bark of younger specimens of the same species. Valsa canker This disease of maple trunks will normally affect only young trees or small branches. You just need to see the leaves and you’re done. There are other trees and plants with opposite branching, but I don’t think they’re an issue since they either don’t look like a big tree or they don’t typically grow in the regions where syrup is made. Look carefully at the bark. Happy sugaring! Summer identification is a piece of cake for most people. Hahaha, Your email address will not be published. The bark is smooth and light gray on young- and intermediate-aged stems, while mature bark is dark gray and rough. It prefers Identify maple trees by their bark: Maple tree bark is generally gray-brown to reddish-brown. Images of a silver maple tree. If the bark has green and white stripes, the maple is the striped or snake bark maple. Big Maple Tree trunk splits in two main branches. The bark is like rough, separated plates with deep ridges in-between the pieces. The less common plane tree maple also has bark that flakes off to reveal orange-tinged inner bark. These cankers can become slimy after rain or dew. Its branches alternate. It’s “an individual kind of tree that shares the same general appearance and the same characteristics of bark, leaf, flower, and seed.” Nearly 1,200 species of trees grow naturally in the U.S. To that we can add all the trees that people have brought here from elsewhere and planted where conditions are similar enough for the trees to thrive. Learn how to identify sugar maple trees to make maple syrup. Differentiating among the many maples species and varieties is easiest when leaves are present, though sometimes identification can be made by looking at the distinctive winged fruits or samaras. Bark is hard with knots and deep cuts. There are many books out there and even more websites, but don’t be too overwhelmed, the process is not too complex. Bark: Grayish or reddish-brown; interlacing ridges and furrows. Silver Maple tree identification. Other species with ridged, furrowed bark include the hedge maple and ash-leafed maple. If you’d like to establish maple tree varieties in your landscape, we can connect you with a vetted landscape expert who can help you purchase and plant new maple trees. If it is smooth to the touch, gray or gray-brown in color and the tree is relatively young, it might be any one of a number of common maples, including red, Norway, sugar or silver maple. There are only a handful of trees with opposite branching, which is great news for us maple lovers. Looking at the leaf and bark will usually give you a good indication of at least part of the parent stock, from which you can consult other resources for more precise plant identification . If you did not identify them in the Summer when the iconic maple leaves were easy to spot, don’t fret. Elisabeth Ginsburg, a writer with over 20 years' experience, earned an M.A. They have a slender and shiny green twigs that would eventually turn red with vegetative buds growing in clusters. Red Maple These are medium-sized maple trees that have light gray barks, which grow darker and rougher as they age. Hi! If the bark is a light gray color and looks “splotchy,” and the bark is smooth to the touch, the tree is a buckeye tree. Trees that have opposite branches but none of the previous characteristics are maple … It is characterized by vertical grooves that are closely spaced. I’ve read several articles/blogs about how to identify a dormant maple and yours is the only one that made it simple and clear- thank you so much! The fact that the sycamore balls grow in pairs is a unique identifying feature of the English sycamore tree. Maple Tree Diseases The majority of maple tree diseases are purely cosmetic and don’t threaten the life of the tree. If you have any more questions, we’d be happy to help! Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! from Northwestern University and has done advanced study in horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. The bark of younger trees will be grayish-brown in color. When trying to figure out a maple's species from its bark, consider the tree's geographic location. The book is loaded with everything you need to know, including easy to understand, cheap strategies and detailed plans. Although it might be hard to tell at first, maple trees have two very distinguishing features: bark and branching patterns. I’ve never found a dogwood near me, but the key characteristic to look for in winter is the bark. This is most noticeable on the trunk—the oldest part of the tree. We tap all species of maple on our land, a majority of which are silver and sugar maples. If you find this blog post helpful, get ready–the rest of what you need to know is in this book. Bark Variations With Age Often the color and texture of the bark change as the tree matures. The bark can be described as “furrowed,” and has deep rifts or valleys between each plate of bark. The branches of an ash look quite different from a maple despite the similar branching pattern, and the bark is fairly easily distinguished from maple with its diamond pattern. Identifying Acer saccharinum by leaf, bark, flowers, samaras and shape. If it is smooth to the touch, gray or gray-brown in color and the tree is relatively young, it might be any one of a number of common maples, including red, Norway, sugar or silver maple. Identifying a tree as a red maple (Table 3.2, Figure 3.4) is done from the leaves by observing the 3 lobes (occasionally 5), the paired opposite arrangement of the leaves and the small teeth along the margin; from the bark of older The bark of a maple tree begins as a grayish-brown and darkens into a dark brown as the tree ages. One more way to identify a tree is by taking a whiff of its bark. Generally speaking, it will take 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon syrup (all maple trees produce sap with different sugar content so this number varies). Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The Amur Maple is a rather small tree with dense, finely textured foliage. The bark of these trees furrows as the specimens age. Check it out here: Do you having a books to showing you which maple trees and a catalogs for the tools for the maple tree for the syrups and cookbooks to making it into syrups and sugar. As the sugar maple trees mature, the bark will deepen to a dark brown. Let’s take a look at the bark. Silver maple, for example, will go from smooth and silver to furrowed A typical example of Ash bark is shown below. Maples (Acer) are among the most common shade trees, with about 120 species distributed over the northern hemisphere. Silver maples have a flaky gray bark, whereas red maple trees have dark brown bark. Click on images of bark to enlarge. Red maples are also supposed to be decent for syrup. Sugar Maple Trees vs. Red Maple Trees In summary: To identify a maple tree in the winter, you have to confirm opposite branching and paired buds, and then look at the bark to rule out the ash and flowering dogwood. We have the rest of the steps in our book, which is a complete guide to making maple syrup without spending too much on fancy equipment. Once you get practice, you’ll find that bark is a great tool for tree identification, and don’t forget to have fun! Since many maples are deciduous, losing their leaves in cold weather, it is sometimes necessary to make identifications based on bark alone. http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5334055, DIY Maple Syrup Tapping System for under $1 | Ferrin Brook Farm, Economically Evaporating Sap into Maple Syrup | Ferrin Brook Farm, http://ferrinbrookfarm.com/diy-maple-syrup-tapping-system-for-under-1/, http://ferrinbrookfarm.com/tag/maple-syrup/, Eat This: DIY Maple Syrup – Green Mountain Mamas, Maple Syrup Making: Identifying Trees & Equipment Needed - Life on Misty Acres. Dark gray and rough can be smooth when the tree is young and never miss a moment tree by bark! A separate species, there may also be scores of cultivated varieties learned! Are some examples from our land, the bark of the tree is mature species from bark. Of cultivated varieties the three-flower maple also has exfoliating bark, consider the tree 's geographic location unique identifying of... 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