Stop 4-The Maple Forest

Sugar maple.

As you pass the power-line and a large, moss-covered rock, you will begin to see many sugar maples (Acer saccharum) and several very large silver maples (Acer saccharinum). Although they are both characterized by leaves that are lobed in a star-shaped (palmate) pattern, silver maples are distinguishable from sugar maples by their very deeply lobed leaves with silvery-white undersides and their grey, shaggy bark. This area has been used in the past for student maple-sugaring operations. Examination of sugar maple trunks at chest level may reveal healing tap holes. A mature sugar maple tree can produce between 5-60 gallons of sap each year, and it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. The sugar maple, Vermont’s state tree, is present all over campus and never fails to amaze with its annual show of fall color. Surveys of the campus woodlands have revealed the sugar maple to be one of the most dominant trees in our forests.

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