Tree species: maple (usually: sycamore and Norway maple).

Color: white to cream-colored, gets a slight yellowish tint over time due to exposure to light

Hardness: hard and dense wood

Characteristics: a uniform fine even texture, sometimes wavy shimmer (figured growth or fiddle back maple - the wood is especially sought after in violin making) and bird's eye grain, a dotted (like many little eyes) texture that is highly sought after in furniture making.

Heartwood formation: maple is a sapwood tree or species with delayed heartwood formation, i.e. there is no discernible color/chemical/physical difference between sapwood and heartwood. In old trees, however, false heartwood formation can occur, i.e. air inclusions (e.g. over wounds) can cause color discoloration in the wood which can sometimes go as far as dark brown.

Psychological equivalent: It exerts silent sincere restraint on people and radiates a certain wisdom. The maple is the tree of reflection. It is the calm antithesis to our hectic times. Maple wood is calm, durable, energetic, long-suffering and decidedly hard. 

Its energy works finely and with distance. It is especially suitable for people who are stressed in their daily lives and tend to overheat due to their pace of life. He brings calm and a clear head, which is necessary for an overflowing schedule or too many appointments.

In the past, inn tables were often made of maple to keep guests' tempers calm. They probably prevented many a brawl. 

In folk medicine, the cooling effect of the maple tree is well known. It is used for inflammations, insect bites or swollen feet. Whenever there is too much heat in the body, bruised fresh maple leaves are applied. 

Properties: not weather resistant, therefore only suitable for indoor use. Hard, strong and elastic wood with high abrasion resistance. It is good for turning, carving and bending.

Suitability/use: ideal for furniture making such as table tops, shelving systems, parquet flooring, stair construction (steps and handrails), veneers, inlays, kitchen utensils, cutting boards, turned products (e.g. chess pieces), sculpture work, musical instruments (especially violin making), bending moldings, measuring and drawing instruments, shoemaker's mouldings, sports equipment, warranty stocks, model making.

Value/availability: normal maple is in the middle price segment of hardwoods.

Pruning time in arboriculture: in summer (from about May to August), after full leaf budding

Seclusion behavior: good

Pruning and wound closure: according to current guideline ZTV Baumpflege, before knot ring up to (as far as possible) max. 10 cm diameter, no wound closure (as ineffective).

Sources of the information:

  • My own experience/knowledge and documents from my wood economics studies at the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences.
  • Native timber (loose-leaf collection) Authors D. Grosser and W. Teetz. CMA, Bonn-publisher -Holzabsatzfonds-Bonn 1998
  • Book Volker Drolshagen/Karin Hoffmann: The Language of Trees (1997)
  • Website

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