Scientific Name: Acer rubrum
Other Common Names: Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, Red maple, Scarlet maple, Swamp maple, Water maple. This wood is often found in the same bin as Silver maple.
Growing Regions: Maple is found throughout the Northeast in the United States and in Eastern Canada. It is thought to have the greatest north-south distribution of all species along the East Coast, according to ”Woods of the World.” The tree grows well in mixed hardwood forests and thrives in moist soils.
Characteristics of Tree: The tree grows quickly during its first 20 years. Mature trees measure between 60 and 90 feet high with a trunk diameter of 30 inches.
Characteristics of Wood: The sapwood of this fine-textured wood is whitish; the heartwood is light brown and may show a grayish or greenish tinge or purplish hue. The grain is generally straight, though curly or tiger patterns are more common in soft maple than in the hard maple species. The wood isn’t suitable for use outdoors.
Finishing Characteristics: Takes stain well, though blotching is common if the surface is not adequately sanded.
Workability: Soft maple planes more easily than hard maple. While it screws and nails well, maple’s density and close grain structure make it sometimes difficult to glue. Soft maple is good for turning and steams OK.
Common Uses: Furniture, paneling, dowels and veneer.
Special Features: The Red maple is the state tree of Rhode Island. Curly, birds-eye and spalted varieties of this wood are highly desirable.
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