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The sapwood of Soft Maple varies in color from creamy white to greyish-white, and is sometimes marked with darker colored pith flecks. Although not as rich as Hard Maple, the heartwood is similar in color, with reddish-brown tones ranging from light to dark. The growth rings of Soft Maple are not as distinct as those of Hard Maple. Soft Maple is straight-grained, without the exceptional burled or birds-eye characteristics that can be found in Hard Maple.
Formal Name: Acer Rubrum
The Soft Maple grows throughout the eastern United States, for the most part, with some species thriving in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington state), as well as areas of western Canada.
Soft Maple is less hard and stiff than Hard Maple, and low in stiffness and shock resistance. It machines well, with minimum blunting to tools, and can be nailed or screwed satisfactorily. Soft Maple takes stain exceptionally well.
Soft Maple is commonly used in furniture, kitchen cabinets, turnings, plywood veneers and decorative veneers. It’s staining properties and attractive appearance make it a popular substitute for Cherry.