This publication is the fifth in a series of handbooks (Aspen, Red Alder, Black Cottonwood, and Paper Birch) initiated by the British Columbia Hardwood and Vegetation Management Technical Advisory Committee (HVM TAC).
HVM TAC was established in 1990 to coordinate research relating to broadleaf and mixedwood management. Representatives on HVM TAC included staff from the Ministry of Forests (Research Branch, Forest Practices Branch, and forest regions), Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (Wildlife Branch), and the Canadian Forest Service.
Diversification and maximization of existing forest types are the keys to economic stability in British Columbia's forest sector. Until recently, broadleaved trees were regarded as weed species to be controlled. Recent trends have encouraged utilization and management of these forest types and have recognized their important contributions to the vigour, diversity, and sustainability of many forest ecosystems.
Bigleaf maple is a desirable ecosystem component, adding to the structural and species diversity of British Columbia's coastal forests. Its presence may lead to improved site productivity, long-term sustainability, and forest health. Maple also has potential as a commercial tree species and its wood is used for furniture, face veneers, and container construction. Responsible management and utilization of this resource could provide employment opportunities in forestry and value-added sectors.
This handbook summarizes what is known about this unique coastal species and presents this information in a format that is useful to both field and research staff.
Funding for preparation of this handbook was provided by Forest Renewal British Columbia.
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Updated January 14, 2009