Maple wood - huge biodiversity

Maple trees are available in many different species, in Europe alone grow 13 different maple species. The very light wood is still popular with many today, mainly because of its beautiful, bright color and the sometimes very fine structure. What else you should know about maple, and which species are most commonly used for maple wood, can be found here.

Biodiversity in the maple

In total there are about 150 different maple species worldwide. However, only about 15 of them are growing in Europe, although not all of them are used equally frequently. The most important types and classics of the maple are:

  • Mountain Maple, also called Sycamore
  • Spitz maple and
  • Field Maple, which is also called Maßholder

Other types and common DIN designations

National designation according to DINmaple
Abbreviation according to DINAH
International designations and abbreviations of the most important species according to DIN EN 13 556Sycamore maple (ACPS, EU), field maple (ACCM, EU), maple tree (ACPL, EU), birdseye maple (ACXX, EU), sugar maple (ACSC, EU)

Other species, such as the silver maple or the ash maple are usually hardly processed into wood and have no significance in the timber trade. Many of these maple species are planted as garden, park or ornamental trees.



Well recognizable are the maple wood beams, which are often very broad. Maple wood can also have a longitudinal banding. Only with the wood, which originates from grain tubers, a variety of drawings are possible. The annual rings are always fine-wave, but may be different for each species.


The color makes for the three most important types usually a pretty easy distinction. The mountain maple is the brightest of the wood species and almost white, but with increasing age of the wood then sets in a significant yellowing, as with all maple species. The maple moves in color between yellowish and sometimes slightly gray tones, while the field maple usually has much reddish tones, in which it is well recognized.


General properties

Maple is not a particularly hard wood, such as oak or robinia. It is also much lighter than these types of wood. The firmness of maple wood, however, is comparatively high, it is also elastic and relatively tough. That makes it easy to work on.

Shrinkage and drying

Maple wood is dwindling, but only to a comparatively small extent. When drying, care must be taken that the wood does not crack. If fresh wood does not stand upright when drying, it may cause the loss of white color (discoloration). The careful storage of maple wood is crucial to the quality of the later wood.


Maple wood is very vulnerable when it comes to fungal attack. It must therefore be sufficiently protected at the appropriate risk. It is not weatherproof, an outdoor use is therefore not or only with sufficient protection recommended.


maple syrup

Maple syrup is obtained from the sugar maple that grows in North America, but is also sold by us and serves as an alternative sweetener.


Straight maple and Norway maple are considered very high quality woods. Maple used to be very popular for living room furniture and bedrooms, but today it is increasingly replaced by other types of wood. High-quality table tops are occasionally made of maple wood, parquet as well.

Traditional use

For a long time maple wood has been used mainly in violin making, especially sycamore maple. Even woodturners and carvers used to use maple wood very often. Inlaying furniture used to be made very often from maple wood.


Maple grows worldwide in many different species, in Europe there are 15 species. For woodworking, only maple, mountain maple and field maple are really common in our country, along with some American species such as the sugar maple.


Cleaning should always be done very carefully with maple. For carvings and marquetry work should be very careful. Microfiber cloths should rather be avoided with maple wood.

Technical values

Reading Descriptionvalue
density0.61 - 0.63 g / cm³
Medium volume density520 - 532 kg / m³
Compressive strength49 - 58 N / mm²
flexural strength95 - 112 N / mm²
condensing4.1 kWh per kg


For sawn timber, the prices vary depending on the type of wood. European maple is usually at 850 - 1000 EUR per m³, with Canadian maple species but you have to count on the 1,500 EUR per m³. Particularly expensive is the bird's eye maple - here are the prices over 5,000 EUR per m³.

All types of wood at a glance

Tips & Tricks

Maple is also great for making bonsai trees and is often used here.

Video Board: Silver Maple Identification