Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of Hard Maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream color, sometimes with a reddish or golden hue. Hard Maple ought to be considered the king of the Acer genus. Its wood is stronger, stiffer, harder, and denser than all of the other species of Maple commercially available in lumber form.
The Maple symbolizes the tree of offering, generosity, balance, promise and practicality. The maple tree was of particular importance to the Algonquian tribes of the northwestern United States and western Canada, who developed the art of processing maple sap into maple sugar, maple syrup, and taffy candy. Maple sap was often considered a gift from the Creator, and many aspects of Algonquian culture and tradition came to revolve around maple sugaring. For these reasons, the maple leaf symbol was an important design motif in Algonquian beadwork. Maple trees were important to Native peoples in other ways as well. Maple wood was used to make tools and furniture, and its bark was used as a medicine herb.