Check out this album if you got a minute and tell me if any of these aren't sugar maples. I can't be sure. I want to tap them for sap/syrup next winter. If they aren't exactly sugar maples, can I still tap them? I've heard that there is less sugar content in the sap. Will that mean a taste change or simply the amount of water I'll have to evaporate to get X amount of syrup?
Here's the album. I just randomly selected 2 leaves so you could see the tops and bottoms. If you see no leaves, it will be on the next photo of the canopy (I couldn't reach the leaves.)
I think what you may have is the black maple (A. nigrum), a close relative of sugar maple of more midwestern distribution. The bark is darker and the leaves more three-lobed than five, and a bit droopy. It's so close they cross, and some consider it a subspecies. So it should be just as useful for syrup, provided the weather cooperates.
Alder Burns (adiantum)
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