One of Canada’s most loved tree species, the Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), may be in decline again. A tree that is supposed to have a longevity of 300 years (with the oldest in Canada being the Comfort maple, at 500 years) is dying at about 80-100 years old or less. Urban trees generally do have a lower lifespan due to factors such as pollutants (car exhaust and salt), lack of water, soil compaction, excess heat from hardscape and buildings and less biodiversity (less predators for pests).The maple is Canada’s national tree. The strong, fine-grained wood of this species is valued for furniture, instruments, paneling, and high heat BTUs. Maple sap has the highest sugar content of Ontario maple species, at about 3-6%. This means that it takes 30 to 40 L of sap to make 1 L of syrup! This shade tolerant species is often a dominant canopy species throughout the northeastern hardwood forests of North America.