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Utility Maples -- Small, cheap, expendible

Silver Maple, Amur Maple, Manitoba Maple

These are trees that can be gotten as seedlings in quantity at low prices. No outstanding color. Good for shelterbelts, firewood, poplar bush rejuvenation.

Manitoba Maple

Also called Boxelder and Ash Leaved Maple. The leaves are very un-maplelike, looking like a 5 leaflet version of green ash leaf. Manitoba maple is fast growing, but has weak branches. It's subject to breakage in late spring snow storms.

It also is a bit confused about up. Trunks 45 degees away from vertical aren't uncommon.

I was visiting a farm where there was a hollow near the house with about 5 acres of manitoba maple. The trees were leaning every direction. Very odd, and slighly creepy. "What a great place to have a Halloween party" They did. They had a fire down in the hollow. Trick or treaters followed a candle lit path through the gloom. A caldron was near the fire with water, a lump of dry ice, a screen. Treats were on the screen. Kids had to reach into the dry ice fog elbow deep to find a treat. An audio system played disturbing sounds from various directions.

Despite it's confusion, Manitoba Maple makes good firewood, but split and dry for 2 years. The bark is impervious to water and the wood will rot before it dries if not split. It is shade tolerant so it can be part of a 'I don't want to lose my entire forest' plan with older chunks of poplar bush.

Silver Maple

At least this maple has a mapley leaf. The leaves are deeply lobed, and are much lighter green on the back than on the front. Very pretty when the wind catches them. Alas it doesn't have much fall colour. Some years it is russet, but most years it's just a dingy brown.

It grows fast. It likes moist areas. Good addition to balsam poplar forests. It has close to the same amount of sugar in it's sap as sugar maple, and will get to harvestable size in about one-third of the time. Note: In both sugar maple and silver maple sugar content can vary from 2 to 7% with 3 and a bit being typical. There's room for a breeding program here.

Silver maple is like Manitoba maple for weak branches. Don't plant either of these trees where they can fall on the Lamborghini

### Amur Maple

Amur maple has cute maple looking leaves, that have been stretched so they are about 1.5 times as long as they are wide. Usually they are about 1.5 inches x 2.5 inches.

Unlike the two clumsy oafs above, Amur is delicate, and petitie, seldom getting even 20 feet tall. By nature it is a shrub, but it's option on this is flexible. With consistent pruning of extra stems, you can convince it to adopt a tree form. Go the other way: Clip the tips of each branch a couple years in a row, and you have a dedicated shrub, suitable for hedges.

But where the oafs are oatmeal blah in winter, Amur maple is deep scarlet.

Like other maples, Amur is shade tolerant. In a forested setting it stretches out in space. In fall there are clusters of red leaves here and there. Very oriental looking.

Got something to say? Email me: sfinfo@sherwoods-forests.com

Want to talk right now? Talk to me: (8 am to 9 pm only, please) 1-780-848-2548

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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.