MAPLE, is considered to be allied to the Sycamore, which is sometimes called the great maple, (Acer Pseudo-platamus,) or the plane-tree. The English, or common maple, is of this kind; its colour is pale yellow brown, and it is only used for ordinary Tunbridge-ware, such as boxes, butter prints, etc.
The American, especially that from Prince Edward's Island, is very beautiful, and distinguished as bird's-eye maple and mottled maple. The latter is principally used for picture-frames; the former is full of small knots that give rise to its name: the grain varies accordingly as the saw has divided the eyes transversely or longitudinally, as pieces cut out in circular sweeps, such as chair backs, sometimes exhibit both the bird's eye and mottled figures at different parts. Much sugar is made in America from this variety of maple. The common maple, (Acer campestris) is very much used in America for house-carpentry and furniture.
The so-called Russian maple is considered to be the wood of the birch-tree; it is marked in a manner similar to the American maple, but is unlike it, inasmuch as there are little stripes that appear to connect the eyes, which in the American are quite distinct, and arise from a different cause, which is explained at page 38. All but the first are much used in handsome cabinet-work, and their diversities of grain are very beautifully shown in turned works. Some of the Russian birch is beautifully yellow.
Acer campestre is the common maple, and A.platanoides the platanus-like or Norway maple, while A. pseudo-platanus is the great maple, sycamore, or mock plane-tree. A. saceharinum is the sugar maple, and its wood is often called bird's-eye maple. A. rubrum, circinatum, striatum, and eriocarpum, are other American species of which the timber is employed and more or less valued. Acer oblongum, cultratum, caudatum, sterculiaceum, and villosum, are Himalayan species of which the timbers may be employed for the same purposes.