Janean Kazimir & Joe Malmisur, Interpretive Naturalists
Some of the most magnificent and beneficial trees in the forests of Summit County are maples. Red, sugar and silver maples, and their distant cousin the box elder, are found throughout the park district and are even emblazoned in SMP’s logo! Historically, these trees have been valued for furniture, flooring, cabinetry and cutting boards.
Red maples are best known for their brilliant fall color, recognizable red twigs in winter, and bountiful flowers in springtime, which are a crucial early source of pollen and nectar to our many native bee species. Sugar maples are of course the source of oh-so-sweet maple syrup and often produce gorgeous shades of yellow and orange in fall. All maples provide a great source of hardwood lumber, countless seeds to sustain wildlife and a food source for 273 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars. In the home landscape, maples are a valuable source of shade and are relatively easy to grow.
Want to learn more about these trees? Visit our Maple Mania Open House in partnership with Friends of Metro Parks March 25th and 26th at Liberty Park Nature Center. Witness the maple sugaring process in action and taste the delectable results!