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The maple tree inhabits large areas of the planet, and there are 12 native maples in the USA. The tree is a member of the Acer family and is named after the Latin word meaning sharp. This is a feature of the leaf form of the maple with its characteristic five-pronged shape. The maple is synonymous with the autumn season in the USA, commonly known as the Fall. This time of year attracts many tourists to the maple forests to marvel at the kaleidoscope of leaf colors, which occurs in this species before the leaves drop from the tree. There are many national parks where tourists can witness this spectacle, including:
The USA is a significant producer of this delicious food, which is harvested by tapping the maple trees and letting the syrup run into containers. It is then refined and bottled, ready for sale. A famous American staple food is maple syrup pancakes. Anyone can find this traditional American breakfast food throughout the US. Maple syrup wine is also produced in the USA in areas such as Vermont, New England. It is popular with many drinkers in this country and is widely available.
The maple tree was essential for the American native Indians. Maple represented success and abundance in their culture. These indigenous people were the first to harvest maple syrup from which they made candy and maple sugar.