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Author Topic: hard and soft maple question  (Read 4171 times)

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Offline TN_man

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hard and soft maple question
« on: August 22, 2006, 11:16:51 AM »
Is there a place that breaks down the different types of maples into hard or soft categories that is pretty easy to get to that one of you guys may know of.  I guess I am asking for a link to some place that might have the species broken down and maybe pics of the bark and leaves for easy identification. I have had a bunch of maple delivered to my place and I have never bought maple before.  I don't know how to pay him.  I believe hard maple is bringing a good price right now, is that true?
I would appreciate any guidence.
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Offline MFinity

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 04:05:24 PM »
TN_Man,

Here are some with basic tree ID:

http://www.massmaple.org/treeID.html
http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/forsite/key/intro.htm  - online key - has good photos
http://maple-trees.com/

A good field guide is indispensable:
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region (Eastern)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0394507606/sr=1-1/qid=1156276757/ref=sr_1_1/102-5027524-9823309?ie=UTF8&s=books


Here are some other links that may be helpful:

American Hardwood Information Center
http://www.hardwood.org/species_guide/display_species.asp?species=hardmaple

Your local extension service would likely be a good source of additional info.
University of Tennessee Extension
http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/forestry/default.asp

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2006, 05:00:24 PM »
Hard maple is sugar maple.  All others will fall into the soft maple category.  Soft maple is more prone to worm holes.  Some guys like it (Ambrosia maple) and some can't sell a board of it.  Know your markets ahead of time.

All maple is bringing a good price now.  Hard maple is better than soft, but still better than oak.  Hard maple veneer is real good value.
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2006, 09:02:56 PM »
Ron,
I thought Black Maple was also a hard maple.  And can't all maples be "sugared", not just "Sugar Maple"?
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Offline Max sawdust

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2006, 09:53:22 PM »
Sure all maples and for that matter birches can be sugared..  But sugar maple is a species of maple that is considered "hard" maple, the Norway's, Red's, Silver, Boxelder are all maples but "soft"  (I am sure I missed about another 1/2 dozen soft maples. ::))
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2006, 05:57:32 AM »
I don't know much about the black maple.  According to my dendro book, some people think it is a subspecies of sugar.  That being said, I imagine you could sell it as hard maple, but the veneer buyers might think otherwise. 

All species of maple can be sugared, but the sugar quantity isn't as high, from what I've read. As pointed out, you can also make a syrup from birch.  Ewell Gibbons also says you can make a beer from birch sap and syrup from sycamore. 
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Offline jkj

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2006, 08:20:04 AM »
The book "World Woods in Color" classifies these maples:

Hard (Rock) Maple:
sugar; acer saccharum
black; acer nigrum

Soft Maple:
red; acer rubrum
sliver; a. saccharinum
Manitoba, ash-leafed (box elder);  a. negundo
Pacific, Oregon, big leaf; a. macrophyllum


The Wood software (spreadsheet) gives the oven dry densities, perhaps a crude indicator of relative "hardness":
Sugar - 41.8 lbs/ft^3
Black - 37.7
Red - 35.5
Bigleaf  -31.4
Silver - 30.8


By chemical test, from both "Useful Woods of the World" and "Identifying Wood":
Apply a solution of ferrous sulfate;  red maple whill turn dark blue, sugar maple will turn green.

By microscope ("Identifying Wood"): Although the greyish cast of soft maple will often distinguish it from the creamy white to light reddish brown of hard maple, a microscopic check of ray seriation -- up to 5 in soft maple, up to 8 in hard maple -- gives a more reliable separation.

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Offline TN_man

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2006, 09:50:05 AM »
Thanks guys for your replies, I know that I could count on you.
Do any of you know what sugar maple is paying in your area?
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2006, 04:38:27 PM »
I am assuming you're talking about logs.  I think veneer is in the $4-5/bf.  For logs, a lot depends on grade.  High quality logs can go for $1.50/bf with low quality down around $.25/bf. 

That's quite a range, but hard maple lumber uppers is in the $2/bf area.
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Offline Phorester

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 08:28:04 PM »

In my end of Virginia, there is not enough sugar maple in the woods for it to even have a market. What few that do grow are a poorly formed tree, crooked with a lot of branches.
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Offline tnlogger

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Re: hard and soft maple question
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2006, 08:52:45 PM »
tn my son's boss just sold a tract and averaged 65 cents across the board
  veneer and prime  was around 1.75 to 3.00 bft
  #1 around 75 to 85 cents
 #2  65 to 75 cents 

gene


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