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The Leaf of a Vermont's State Tree, The Sugar Maple
The dominant forest type in Vermont called the Hemlock - Northern Hardwoods. The three most common hardwoods here are Sugar Maple, Beech, and Yellow Birch. Of these, Sugar Maples are probably the most common. In Vermont there are more than fifty species of trees. Each of these trees belongs to one of two large groups--coniferous or deciduous trees. Coniferous trees are the so-called "evergreen trees". Conifers have needle-shaped leaves and carry their own seeds in cones. The wood of most coniferous trees is relatively soft to cut, so they are sometimes called softwoods. Conifers keep their needles all year round. Other softwoods, like the Tamarack, for example, have needles that turn yellow and fall to the ground each autumn. Some other Vermont conifers include pine, spruce, fir, and cedar.
The Tamarack Tree
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Deciduous trees have broad leaves which they shed every fall. It is this group of trees that provides the beautiful colors of Vermont's autumn, as the green leaves change color to brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds. The wood of most deciduous trees is harder to cut than the wood of a coniferous tree, so they are often called hardwoods. Some deciduous trees that grow in Vermont include maple, birch, beech, elm, and ash.
The white pine is one of Vermont's most important coniferous trees. The tall, straight pines were once used for the masts of ships. King George III of England declared in 1760 that "all white and other pine trees fit for masting the Royal Navy" should be branded with his mark. The white pine was included on the Great Seal of Vermont, designed by Ira Allen in 1778.
The White Pine
The white pine is commonly found in the sandy soils of the lowland areas in the state. It grows 75 to 100 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet in diameter. The three to five inch needles grow in bundles of five. Today the white pine is used for lumber, furniture, and paper production.
The most important deciduous tree in Vermont is the sugar maple, the official state tree. It is found all over Vermont, thriving in the rich valley soils and the cool, moist, rocky soils of the uplands. This tree grows 60 to 100 feet high. The leaves are three to five inches in diameter and have five lobes. The green leaves begin to change color as the days grow shorter. The production of chlorophyll in the leaves stops. Without the dominant green chlorophyll, other colors, which were always present in the leaves, are revealed.
Click here for a site to help you identify the different types of maple trees found in Vermont!
Here you can find the identifications of all kinds of trees!
Maple syrup is one of Vermont's most famous crops. Maple sap is collected from the trees in the early spring. Holes are drilled in the trees and spouts are pounded into the holes. The sap then flows into a bucket or plastic tubing. The sap is brought or piped to a sugar house where it is boiled in large pans called evaporators. The excess water is boiled off and golden maple syrup is the result. It takes between 35 and 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup. Vermont is the leading maple syrup and maple sugar producing state in the United States, accounting for more than one-half of New England s production, and one-third of U.S. production. According to UVM's agriculture extension web-site, (http://www.uvm.edu/extension/publications/nrem/nrfs1.htm) "Vermont's 2,400 maple sugarmakers produce about half a million gallons of maple syrup in an average year. About 40% of the crop is sold retail at a farmstand or through mail order and another 20% is sold wholesale to a grocery store, country store, or gift shop. The remaining 40% is sold in bulk to processors or to other sugarmakers." The Canadian province of Quebec produces much more syrup than Vermont.
Here is a site that will direct you on how to make your own maple syrup!
Here is a site that you can find out more facts about maple syrup in New England!
Find the Vermont Maple Story Here
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