The leaf of the maple tree is synonymous with Canada. We even have one depicted on our flag.
In Ontario where I live maple trees are simply everywhere. In this blog I so far have mostly mentioned animals that I have encountered, but it is not possible to have a blog about living beings and not mention one of the most ubiquitous life form around here.
It is no accident that even the Canadian flag depicts a maple leaf, maples trees really dominate the landscape, at least here in the southern part of Canada.
But the maple leaf as a motif does not end at the Canadian flag. Canadian businesses, Canadian operations of not quite so local businesses, and various products that want to advertise how Canadian they are all show some variation of a maple leaf motif in their logos.
There is a large variety of maple trees with various shapes and sizes.
Beautiful maple trees make the place look lush green with hints of various other colors even in the spring and in summertime turning even more colorful in the fall.
Maple leaves can be all green or have just an all so slight tint of red or a a lot of it.
Maple trees form the genus Acer with many species that sometimes hybridize. After some time I have given up trying to identify individual species, and just took pictures of some of them as I found then in Toronto, just trying to capture how lush green they look.
Some species, in particular the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and the black maple (Acer nigrum or Acer saccharum subspecies nigrum) have a clear sap so high in sugar that it is worthwhile to collect the sap and concentrate it by evaporation to produce maple syrup.
North Americans are probably familiar with the taste of maple syrup as it is produced in large quantities in Canada and the USA. For people who never tasted it (which would not be unusual e.g. in Europe) maple syrup is sweet and sort of tastes like the tea made of linden flowers with a hint of caramel.
Maple trees also provide valuable wood used for many purposes.
Since they were photographed in an urban environment some of these maple trees might not belong to a native species, I choose them for they looks.
Ontario’s Tree Atlas: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum).
Ontario’s Tree Atlas: Red Maple (Acer rubrum).
Maple on Wikipedia.
Sugar maple on Wikipedia.
Black maple on Wikipedia.
Red maple on Wikipedia.
Silver maple on Wikipedia.
Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association.
Maple syrup on Wikipedia.
Maple sugar on Wikipedia.
Maple Sugar Industry.