Der Ahorn & Ahornholz

The maple & maple wood

Who doesn't know this deciduous tree? The maple is known for many things, for example its classic leaf shape, which everyone probably knows, by children for its “propeller seeds”, by gourmets for maple syrup and by gardeners for its many types and diverse uses.

Without a doubt, the maple is one of my favorite trees - which you can of course also see in my garden.

Bergahorn
Habitus of a sycamore maple

Species, distribution & location

There are around 100 – 200 species of maple, but exactly how many are not even completely clear. The distribution area extends across Europe, North and Central America, North Africa and Asia.

Sycamore maple, Norway maple and field maple are the most common in the forests of Europe. These species can be found in mixed forests up to the tree line, but are also often planted in parks, avenues or gardens.

In gardens you can also often find small Japanese maples or special varieties with blood-red or mottled leaves such as the blood maple or the white-colored Norway maple.

The most famous maple species in Europe are:

  • Sycamore
  • Norway maple
  • Field maple
  • Various Japanese maples
  • ash maple
  • Sugar maple
  • Japanese maple

Growth & Age

In the wild, maples are usually single-stemmed with a round, spreading crown.

When they are younger, the bark of maples tends to be smooth and gray; when they are older, the bark tends to be gray-brown and cracked. The sycamore maple is spotted and peeling.

Maples can live up to 500 years.

Japanese Japanese maple

Japanese Japanese maple

Habitus maple

Japanese Japanese maple with autumn colors

maple seeds

maple seeds

Japanese maple leaf

Japanese maple

Sycamore leaf

Sycamore leaf

Field maple leaf

Field maple leaf

Maple leaves

Three-colored Norway maple

Different maple leaves

Blood Maple Crimson King

Maple wood

General information about maple wood

Due to its properties, maple wood is primarily used indoors.

It is one of the valuable precious woods. Sapwood and heartwood usually differ little from each other - there are of course exceptions, as there are also trees that have a darker core (so-called core maple).

Maple wood is usually yellowish white to white and is considered a medium-weight wood due to its wood density.

Although it is a hard type of wood, maple wood is elastic and tough. The surface of maple wood can be processed extremely well (e.g. turning ), polishing, staining or coloring.

In my opinion, the only downside to maple wood is that the wood gradually changes color from a light or white color to a yellowish color when exposed to regular sunlight - but that's just how wood is - a natural material.

Use of maple wood

Maple wood is primarily used in furniture construction and interior design.

Simple, calm grains, rare bar grains as well as the “wild” grains of core maple are used.

Due to the favorable chemical conditions, hardness and fine porosity, maple is often used in the following areas in everyday life:

  • Solid wood furniture & furniture veneers
  • disguises
  • Intarsia, cabinetmaking
  • Table tops, stair construction, parquet
  • Turning , carvings, sculptures
  • Toys & kitchen utensils

My conclusion & my opinion on maple & maple wood

For me, the maple is one of the most diverse and beautiful native deciduous trees.

There are so many different leaf and growth forms that it is sometimes hard to guess that it is a maple tree.

I particularly like the impressive autumn color of the foliage - whether red, yellow or orange - all leaf colors are included here.

I also really like using maple wood when turning . For some woodturners, maple wood is considered to be too quiet or boring.

However, I am of the opinion that this is exactly what makes the wood so charming. The smell of the wood when turning is also unique and gives off an unmistakable, sweet smell.

I also find the rare grain of the flamed maple particularly beautiful.

This anomaly of maple wood only occurs in around 3% and is actually not visible on the outside of the tree. Therefore, it is only when you cut the wood that you realize that the piece of wood is maple with bar growth.

The wood shows shimmering or reflective “stripes” across the grain, which shimmer and shine depending on the incidence of light.

Well, curious? Then take a look at all the products made from maple wood in my online shop.

Maple grain

Maple wood grain

Maple wall clock
Wooden wall clock made of maple wood

Curly maple grain

Bar growth on a maple wood wall clock

Wooden bowl made of maple

Wooden bowl made of maple wood

Wooden ballpoint pen maple

Wooden ballpoint pen made from maple wood

Guitar back

Maple wood guitar back

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