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The state tree of Wisconsin is the sugar maple. It was officially designated as the state tree in 1949. The sugar maple is also the state tree of New York, and the outline of the sugar maple's leaf appears on the Canadian flag. It is a deciduous tree that can be found in the northeastern corner of the United States and the eastern-most corner of Canada. The sugar maple is used to produce maple syrup and lumber, which account for its economic and historic importance as well as its international popularity.
In 1893, the sugar maple was chosen as the state tree of Wisconsin by vote of the state's school children. During the state's centennial year of 1948, another vote was conducted, and for a second time, the state's children voted in favor of the sugar maple. This vote spurred legislators to amend the state's statutes, allowing other official state symbols to be designated. During this centennial assembly, a state bird and flower were also chosen. The sugar maple became the official state tree of Wisconsin in 1949.
Sugar maples are prized for their distinctive physical characteristics. In the fall, their leaves change from green to various shades of bright yellows, oranges, and reds. The tree is often sought for ornamental purposes because of its colorful foliage and the striking structure of its branches.As the sugar maple is one of the hardest maple species, its lumber is ideal wood for making furniture and wooden wares and in general construction. Even before it was known for its edible syrup, the sugar maple was known and valued for its durable, sturdy composition.
The state tree of Wisconsin is famously used in the production of maple syrup, which is derived from the maple sugar found in the tree's sap. It is regarded by most professionals as the premier source of sap for maple syrup. Though the sap of numerous other maple species can be used for syrup production, the sap of the sugar maple is especially prized because of its higher sugar content.
Sugar maples also play an important ecological role. The hardwood forests of the Central and Northern United States are home to a significant population of these trees. They can survive in a number of different environments and have a high tolerance for shade, which enhances their ability to survive and flourish under a closed canopy. The sugar maple can grow in nearly any soil type except for some sands.