West Virginia features some of the oldest and longest-living trees in the world. From the Norway Spruce, Royal Paulownia Tree, and the Tulip Poplar to the Sugar Maple and Sycamore Maple, it has a diverse variety of trees. In fact, its maple trees are widely used to produce maple syrup.
West Virginia has eight state forests that make up over 70,000 acres of woodlands. This makes it the third most forested state in the US. Oak and Hickory make up the majority of the trees in the state, followed by northern hardwoods, then oak and pine trees and maple trees.
West Virginia has a humid, continental climate with hot summers, mild winters, and moderate rainfall throughout the year, making it ideal for maple trees to thrive. Three varieties of maple trees are found in the state. Maple trees are best known as the best source of maple sugar, which is used to make delicious maple syrup. However, many maple trees also make excellent specimen and ornamental trees while providing shade and shelter to many wildlife species.
Maple trees have a unique aesthetic appeal owing to their yellow, orange, red, and burgundy foliage which appears in fall. The Sugar Maple, also known as rock maple or hard maple, is West Virginia’s state tree and is very significant for the state’s maple syrup production industry. The maple syrup production in the state increased by 2000 gallons in 2020.
This article describes the types of maple trees you can typically find in West Virginia. This article lists the most common trees in West Virginia of all types.
1. Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
The Sugar Maple is West Virginia’s state tree and is excellent for numerous purposes, including shade, wood, furniture, shelter, and more. It can grow up to 70 to 120 feet high and can produce up to 2 to 3 pounds of sugar. Its leaves turn bright yellow in the fall. Sugar Maple trees can live for about 300 to 400 years in ideal conditions.
2. Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
The Red Maple is native to eastern North America and grows up to an average size of 40 to 50 feet tall. It has medium to dark green foliage, which turns red in fall, and produces red blossoms in spring. This tress species is cold-hardy and does well in moist, slightly acidic environments with full sun exposure.
3. Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
The Sycamore Maple has a unique green and papery bark and large beautiful maple leaves that add to its aesthetic appeal. It is native to Europe but can be found in West Virginia and grows up to 100 feet tall. Younger trees have a smooth and dark pink-gray bark, which cracks as the tree matures. It produces greenish-yellow flowers in spring.