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5 Things About… Maple

This deciduous tree is surprisingly versatile: it’s strong, attractive, an anti-inflammatory and it represents the second largest country in the world. It is so much more than just wood.

The tree

1

The Tree

The genus Acer originates from the northern hemisphere; these deciduous trees of the soaptree family preferring the temperate climes of Eurasia, North Africa, and Central and North America. Many of the 200 varieties could once be found in Europe but the ice age was too much for many of them to survive. Only the sycamore, the Norway maple and the common maple remain.

Maple leaves are reputed to have healing properties.


As an Accent Wood

2

As an Accent Wood

Violin-makers prefer spruce and maple above all other woods; they are renowned for their resonance and lend themselves to intricate manipulation. Traditionally, the heavier maple forms the base, ribs and scroll, as exemplified by the Stradivarius. What creates the particular sound of this magical instrument is, to this day, a mystery. The mild climate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries may have played a role as the trees grew very slowly and evenly. Or perhaps it was how the beams themselves were kept, floating upon the Venetian lagoon where they would have absorbed many minerals.

Classical stringed instruments have maple bases, ribs and necks.


3

The Symbol

In 1965, the red and white Canadian flag, resplendent with maple leaf, was hoisted for the first time. While in life the leaf can have up to 23 rough, saw-like edges, the stylised version on the flag has only 11. The reason? Because, during flutter tests in a wind tunnel, this design was determined to be the most aesthetically pleasing! Other countries have also incorporated trees or their leaves into their flags, such as Belize (mahogany), Lebanon (cedar) and Equatorial Guinea (mangrove).

The Symbol

The maple leaf represents the expansive forests of Canada

4

As Decor

In contrast to the softer, European maple, the North American “hard maple“ is just as robust as oak. Its wood is also valued as parquet because of its outward appearance: the fine-pored surface is sleek and smooth. How much it costs depends on its variety The lighter, premium variants have virtually no pattern yet darken the same as any other maple. So if you want the look but in a lighter, more environmentally-friendly version, EGGER’s maple range in its laminate flooring collection has the answer for you.

As Decor

Timeless and classic maple decor

The Syrup

5

The Syrup

Maple syrup comes from the sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) in eastern North America, where the trees are tapped and the liquid that flows out is boiled down into syrup. This time-consuming process can only happen in a very short window: between the end of February and the beginning of April, the starch which is found inside the tree trunk changes to sugar. Nowadays, for industrial production, entire forests are connected to a network of pipelines. The sap flows to a central collection station into vaporisation chambers and from there into barrels.

The harvest season lasts only a matter of weeks