Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Red Maple

Red maple (Photo by Jean Isaacs)

Red maple (Photo by Jean Isaacs)

"The red maple is considered a soft maple because its wood is coarse and weak. The sugar maple, which produces a hard, durable, shock-resistant wood, is considered a hard maple. The wood of the red maple is suitable for plywood, veneer, crates, pulp and railroad ties.

Where is this species found?

Red maple does well in a variety of soil types and light conditions and is becoming more prevalent in southern Ontario. This tree benefits from a lack of fire, In addition to lack of fire, catastrophic tree diseases such as chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease, as well as pests such as the emerald ash borer, cause massive die-offs of single tree species across the landscape, thus increasing opportunities for the red maple to fill the gaps left as other species die.

Red maple (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Red maple (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Red maple on Backus Woods

Detailed tree inventories of Backus Woods were completed in 1985 and 2009. When analyzed, the data collected from each inventory show a significant increase in the occurrence of the red maple.

The relative dominance of the red maple when compared with all other tree species increased in every habitat type in Backus Woods, except in the late successional sugar maple-beech forest just south of the 4th Concession Road.

In some cases, especially in the wet, swampy areas of Backus Woods, red maple makes up more than 40 percent of the canopy cover."

Supported by the Weston Family Foundation.

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Funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada