RED MAPLE

ACER RUBRUM

Where does it come from ?

Acer rubrum means « strong » as the robustness of its wood and bark and « red » for its beautiful flowers and leaves in bright red colors that announce the spring and fall season in Quebec. Indeed this tree native of Canada, is one of the main hardwood species of Quebec’s forests. Also known as the Canadian maple, it grows in Canada mostly in the Acadian region in the Great Lakes and the St. Laurent, and in the boreal forest of  Newfoundland.

How is it used by the wood industry ?

Red maple is a medium sized tree that can reach heights of 15 to 30 meters, a diameter ranging from 0.5 to nearly 2 meters, and can live 100 to 200 years and sometimes more. In the forest industry, it is used in the manufacture of furniture, wooden pallets and also in paper production.

How was it used traditionally ?

There is a large traditional use of the bark of this tree. Iroquois were crushing the dried bark to incorporate the powder in the flour for bread preservation. Except this food use, red maple was recently ranked in the list of native medicinal vascular plants in Quebec. References mention that the red maple bark is also used in Indian traditional medicine (Ojibwa) as an anthelmintic, tonic and treatment for sore eyes. A bark infusion was recommended to treat cramps and dysentery.