Douglas Maple


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide

Douglasm.Jpg
DOUGLAS MAPLE
acer glabrum

  • The Douglas Maple is also known as Rocky Mountain Maple, Dwarf Maple
  • 'Acer' is the Latin word for a maple tree
  • The leaves and fruit of the Douglas Maple are hairless, perhaps leading to the word 'glabrum' which means "smooth"
  • The old Welsh word 'mapwl' meaning a knob in the middle of anything, perhaps has led to the word 'maple'

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • The trunk of the Douglas Maple is often separated into a number of small branches

LOCATION:

  • The Douglas Maple grows everywhere in BC but the northern part and the Queen Charlotte Islands
  • The Douglas Maple prefers low to mid elevations
  • Well drained wet sites or dry ridges
  • Avalanche sites, south facing slopes, clearings and open forests

SIZE:

  • The Douglas Maple occurs from a shrub to small tree
  • 1 to 7 metres in height

FRUIT:

  • pair of winged seeds joined together in a 'V' shape
  • tan, dry wings about 2.5 cm
  • seeds are wrinkled and indented
  • have winged seeds
  • seeds are eaten by birds and small animals

LEAVES:

  • 3 to 5 lobes, 7 to 10 cm wide
  • maple-leaf shape, coursely toothed
  • dark green on top, greyish-green underneath
  • turns bright red-orange in fall
  • smaller and more wrinkled than Bigleaf maple

BARK:

  • thin, smooth, roughened on older trees
  • dark, reddish on younger twigs becoming greyish with age

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • the wood of the Douglas Maple is tough, pliable

USES:

  • modern - ornamental tree
  • traditional - snowshoe frames, saddle frames, spoons, dipnet or fishing hoops, bows, rattles, masks, headdresses; inner bark: twine, rope, mats

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Douglas Maple