Lowry London

MAPLE – Wood Guide


FAMILY
Soap-berry (Sapindaceae)

FACTS
A Maple tree can live up to 200 years and thrives in colder climates, thus growing more profusely in the Northern Hemisphere. They belong to the Sapindaceae family and are one of the only woods in which the sapwood (the outer part of the tree) is used for lumber as opposed to the heartwood (the inner core).

SUSTAINABILITY
Very good. Maple is not listed in the CITES Appendices and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

COLOUR
Ranges from golden pale to almost white.

GRAIN
Dense, very closed grain. Often shows a beautiful rippled figure (sometimes known as quilted, fiddleback, or curly) with vivid chatoyance.

HABITAT AND ECOLOGY
Lowland woods and rocky highlands. Many animals use maple’s seeds, sap, bark, leaves, and branches for various elements of their habitat. Our favourite is the “yellow-bellied Sapsucker” which drills a hole into the bark to feed on the sap.

WOOD
Very hard, very strong. The tight pores of the grain mean it can be polished to a shimmer.

TREE SIZE
80–115ft (25–35m)

DISTRIBUTION
North America, Canada

USE
Bowling alleys, basketball courts, pool cues, baseball bats, violin sides, guitar necks, and drums are commonly made from hard maple.


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