The maple tree leaf is an important symbol for many Canadians and is an integral part of Canada’s history. Officially known as the Maple Leaf or the l’Unifolié in Quebec, the symbol first appeared on the flag of Canada in 1965. The red maple leaf is situated prominently in the centre of the flag, with a simple red and white background. Today, you will find Canada’s flag displayed proudly at sporting events, schools and government buildings. Additionally, many Canadian school children and teenagers put maple leaf flag pins on their backpacks and other apparel.
Even though the leaf did not appear on the flag until the 1960s, it has been prominent in Canada’s history for a long time. According to historians, the maple leaf first became significant to Canada back in the 1830s when the first French Catholic Society in North America designated the maple leaf as its official symbol. Many organizations also made appeals for the leaf to be adopted as a symbol of Canada throughout the 1800s and the early 1900s.
Maple Tree Overview
There are over 100 species of maple around the world, most of which are native to Asia. However, the following 10 maple species are indigenous in Canada: black, silver, red, striped, vine, Douglas, sugar, Manitoba, mountain and bigleaf. The sheer variety of types of maple trees that grow natively in the country is a likely contributor to Canada’s aforementioned official arboreal insignia, the generic maple.
Maple trees vary greatly in terms of height. Trees range from 32 to 147 feet tall, while smaller shrubs are usually under 30 feet. The leaves of maple trees are typically deciduous, meaning that they shed annually. Maple leaves are well known for developing vibrant colours during the fall months. Typically, leaves change from green to various shades of orange, yellow and red during the autumn.
Generally, older trees have rough brown bark while younger trees have smooth bark. Maple wood is used for a variety of constructions, including firewood, furniture, woodwork and flooring. Most maple tree varieties produce sap, which can be manufactured into sugar. Most notable is the maple syrup produced from sugar maples.
Maple trees can live for a very long time. While the lifespan will vary depending on the species, red maple trees live for an average of 130 years and silver trees live for approximately 100 years. Red maple trees have been known to survive for up to 300 years.
Maple Tree Care Tips
If you happen to have a maple tree in your yard, whether it be a Red Maple or Mountain Maple, it is important to know how to properly care for these types of trees. Here are some general tips for nurturing your tree:
- Don’t plant maple trees in soil with a pH above 7.3. Instead, plant maple trees in nutrient-rich soil.
- Pruning is very important. The best time to prune is during the late spring or early summer. Pruning any earlier can cause excessive sap loss, or pruning too late does not leave enough healing time for the tree.
- Generally, maple trees need 11 gallons of water each week to stay hydrated and in good condition. Signs that your tree is not receiving enough water include wilting or browning, curling leaves.
Additionally, it is important to use fertilizer on newly planted maple trees unless you planted the tree while it was dormant; generally in late fall and winter.
Contact Martin’s Tree Service for Assistance
If you need help caring for your maple tree, contact Martin’s Tree Service today. We offer a variety of services that can help your maple tree thrive, including affordable tree pruning service. Call us today to receive a quote.