Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Maples in Bloom

Before leaf-out on the trees, the maple trees bloom.
Because the blossoms are small, and usually pretty high up, a lot of folk don't realize what they're looking at. The trees just look red. A bit fuzzy, as if they're wearing little pom-poms...

But if you get up close, you're going to be rewarded with one of the most distinctive and attractive flowers around. They may not be as showy as the cherry trees in Japan, but they have their own beauty that is every bit as attractive.

Red Maples (Acer rubrum) bloom every year. The reds’ flower clusters, from a distance, look like fuzzy red balls that start out very red and turn more yellow and orangey. The flowers are showy and are easy to spot from a distance. Red maples and silver maples have very similar blossoms, and in fact can interbreed, which makes it tricky to identify some of them. One clue to the red or silver mystery is that the reds generally start bearing seeds at a much younger age than the silvers. Reds can start when they are around 4 years old but silvers need to be 11 years or so. You may not want to hang out in the forest for 11 years just to find out what kind of maple you're observing, but a helpful little hint is that a very young maple tree with the fuzzy pom-poms is more likely to be a red.

Sugar maples, may they live forever, have tiny, light olive green flowers on long, thin, flexible stems. The tree, from a distance appears to be fringed. Sugar maples don't start producing seeds until they are 30 to 40 years old, and then don’t necessarily produce flowers (and seeds) every year. Each maple seems to get to decide for itself how often it wishes to flower. Some do it every year; but for other the interval can up to seven years.

The Norways maples, in contrast, make millions of seeds every year, which is one of the reasons why they effectively out-compete the native maples (and almost everything else in sight).

And while we adore the sugar maples, and the syrup they bring us, the red maples are a high point of the spring for us, when they pick up their fuzzy red pom-poms and cheer on the advent of summer.

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