Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O Canada & The Maple Tree - Together Forever

For those of us living in Canada, we celebrated Canada Day on July 1. This is our Country's official birthday. We Canadians don't display our flag as much as Americans, but on this day, you can see many a flag adorned with the Maple Leaf. The flag was introduced in 1965. The Maple Tree has been our national arboreal emblem since 1996.

Did you know there are 150 known species of Maple Tree? 13 of these are native to North America and 10 types grow in Canada. In fact, in Ontario, it is hard escape the Maple Tree. It is quite an amazing site to see Maples turning colour in the fall. Those which grow most abundantly in Canada are Sugar Maples. You can see a Maple Tree almost everywhere, particulary in Ontario and Quebec.

A Love - Hate Relationship
Our neighbour has a huge tree. It must be 30' tall. I've read that they can grow to 100' high. At certain times of the year we see, what must be, 100s of maple keys floating down from the tree. The keys blow in the wind reminding you of helicoper propellers, which is why we sometimes call them "helicopters".

Quite a few of them take root and start to grow saplings, which are hard to control! This is something I'm not fond of when it comes to Maple Trees. I have a couple of Maples Tree saplings which I did not pull in time and now it is almost impossible to pull them out. It is almost impossible to not be able to grow a maple tree in Ontario. They have absolutely no problem with the frigid cold of our winters and require little if any tending.

How Sweet It Is
On the other hand, something I love about the Maple Tree is Canadian Maple Syrup. It's a wonderful taste experience. If you've never tried pancakes topped with Canadian maple syrup, you are missing a sweet treat.

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