SUGAR MAPLE
Botanical Name: Acer saccharum & A. nigrum
Hard Maple, Rock Maple, Sugar Maple

Rock Maple is a medium size hardwood restricted in distribution to eastern North America, very common in Canada. The tree generally grows to heights between 27–35 metres with diameters up to 1metre.

Rock Maple along with the other species of the Maple family are considered the most valuable hardwood trees of North America, for not only are some prized for their timber but they are also the natural source of maple syrup.

  • Density(average)
  • 740kg/m3 dry
  • Durability Class 4
  • Hardness Rating (average)
  • S4 green
  • SD4 dry
  • 5.2kN green
  • 7.3kN dry
 
The timber is difficult to work and blunts hand tools, planer blades and saws easily. Although it holds screws and nails well they are hard to fix and pre-drilling is recommended.

Rock Maple is slow to dry with medium shrinkage rates between 3 to 6% but suffers little degrade. It glues very well, is a good base for stains and polish, is well suited to wood turning and steam bending with an excellent resistance to abrasion.

Heartwood is pale brown to pale reddish brown with darker coloured latewood bands often causing a fiddleback figure on the backsawn face and a distinctive birdseye on the quartersawn. Sapwood comes in a very wide band usually lighter or creamy and sometimes almost white although more often difficult to distinguish and is susceptible to lyctid borer attack.

The texture is fine and even with the grain generally straight but sometimes can be wavy accentuating the figure. Rock Maple is highly regarded because of its abrasion resistance and higher than expected

impact values for flooring, particularly sports floors such as bowling alleys and squash courts.

Although large volumes are not imported into Australia it is regularly available for these applications and is also used for high grade furniture, decorative veneer, musical instruments, handles, woodturning and craft applications.