The maple is a favorite tree in the Northern Hemisphere. It provides shade, valuable wood, maple sugar, and beautiful colors in autumn. Maple leaves are shaped like the palm of a hand (palmate) with sharp-toothed edges. They grow opposite each other in pairs. The maple tree bears fruit with little wings so the wind can scatter the seeds.
   In America, the best-known maple is the rock or sugar maple. It is a stately, round-headed, gray-barked tree which may grow 120 feet high. Noted for its rich red colors in fall, the sugar maple is prized by cabinet-makers for its wavy-grained wood. It is also the most important maple for its maple sugar yield.