Sugar, red maples provide brilliant fall color

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Sugar, red maples provide brilliant fall color

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The sugar maple, West Virginia’s official state tree, stands out in the fall with its brilliant warm hues. The red maple may not share the same claim to fame as its cousin, but it, too, provides colorful foliage.

West Virginia designated the sugar maple as the official state tree in 1949, after a vote by public school students and civic organizations. The tree is prevalent throughout the Mountain State.

The sugar maple is slow growing and can attain a height of 100 feet or more. The trees form large, symmetrical crowns that turn brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange in the fall. They grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soils.

Often planted as an ornamental tree, the sugar maple, also known as hard maple, is used extensively by the lumber industry in flooring and furniture. Maple syrup and maple sugar also are produced from the sap of this tree.

One of the largest recorded sugar maples in West Virginia is near Cherry Grove in Pendleton County. The tree is 87 feet tall and measures 194 inches in circumference at breast height. To learn more, visit the Big Tree web page at the West Virginia Department of Commerce: www.wvcommerce.org/BigTrees.

The red maple, also known as the soft maple, is one of the most common trees in the state. It can reach a height of up to 100 feet. In spring, its buds are a food source to squirrels. Leaves turn a brilliant red in fall.

The red maple is a popular ornamental tree and is able to withstand harsh urban conditions. This hardy tree is adaptable to a wide range of soils, from rocky uplands to bottomlands and swamps.

One of the largest recorded red maples in West Virginia is near Poe in Nicholas County. The tree is 84 feet tall and measures 178 inches in circumference at breast height. To learn more, visit the Big Tree web page at the link above.

Clements State Tree Nursery in West Columbia, Mason County, sells bare root red maple and sugar maple seedlings starting at $25 per bundle. Each bundle consists of 25 seedlings – plenty for you to plant and share with friends and family. Orders can be placed online and shipped to the buyer, or picked up at the nursery.

For a complete catalog of seedlings for sale at Clements State Tree Nursery, visit www.wvcommerce.org/resources/forestry/treenursery.aspx or call the nursery at 304-675-1820.

For more information, visit the Division of Forestry’s website at www.wvforestry.com.

 

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Contact: Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102, Leslie.C.Fitzwater@wv.gov