#Biodiversity150 number 75 of 150 Sugar Maple

75/150: Old bold and sweet, the Sugar Maple

Plantae: Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Sapindales: Acer: Acer saccharum (Marshall)

Wow! Can you believe we’re half way through our 150 posts about biodiversity?

As you wear your red and white today, bearing the proud red maple leaf, you may wonder why a leaf? Why this leaf? In 1964, the well-known red and white Canada flag was adopted as our official flag. Dr. George Stanley, the creative designer behind the flag, based the design off the Royal Military College’s flag, where he worked as the dean of arts. The leaf that is represented on the flag is from the famous Sugar maple, a staple tree in Canadian history and our national tree.

The sugar maple has the sweetest sap of all maples used in syrup production, making it a valuable tree to maple loving Canadians. This sweet tree can live over 200 years producing plenty of sap in its lifetime. With that many years of sap production you might wonder if we have excessive amounts of syrup, but in reality, it takes 40 litres of sap to just produce 1 litre of syrup. Sugar maples are found throughout Canada. On that fact, Quebec is known to produce two thirds of the world’s supply of syrup.

Also, there is a 500+ year old tree in the Niagara region of Ontario referred to as “The Comfort Maple” that is the oldest living sugar maple known to this date. Along with being the oldest sugar maple, the comfort tree is also the largest, standing around 7 stories tall, with a trunk base 6 meters round. Although our flag may only be 53 years old, on this 150th anniversary, be proud of the old, bold and sweet tree that we bear on our flag. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150 #CanadaDay

Specimen JAG 0559 – Wheatley Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 29-May-2007. Photo Credit: BIO Herbarium Group, University of Guelph BIO Herbarium
The Comfort Maple, Canada’s longest living sugar maple tree. Photo Credit: Mac Armstrong goo.gl/77uY6x
Our national flag, bearing the leaf of our national tree, the sugar maple. Photo Credit: E Pluribus Anthony goo.gl/NAJYUr

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  PLCHA087-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Sugar Maple

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