Maple (Sycamore)

Color/Appearance:Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Sycamore Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns.

Grain/Texture:Has closed pores and a fine texture. The growth rings tend to be lighter and less distinct in Soft Maples than in Hard Maple.

Rot Resistance:Rated as non-durable to perishable in regard to decay resistance.

Workability:Fairly easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though maple has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining, and a pre-conditioner, gel stain, or toner may be necessary to get an even color.

Odor:No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity:Sycamore Maple, along with other maples in the Acer genushave been reported to cause skin irritation, runny nose, and asthma-like respiratory effects. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability:Should be very moderately priced where available domestically, (this species is native to Europe), though figured pieces such as curly or quilted grain patterns are likely to be much more expensive.

Sustainability:This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses:Veneer, paper (pulpwood), boxes, crates/pallets, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.

Comments:Sycamore Maple is commonly referred to simply as "Sycamore"in Europe, though it is actually a type of maple tree (Acer genus) rather than sycamore (Platanus genus)—and its botanical name A. pseudoplatanus means "false plane" or "false sycamore." In the United States, Acer pseudoplatanus is usually called Sycamore Maple to distinguish it from the tree that is more commonly referred to as Sycamore, Platanusoccidentalis.