The Maple Tree

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Quercus acerfolia: The oak with sharp leaves. 

This particular tree, sometimes called the the maple-leaved oak, is native to the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, in the United States.

Quercus is the Latin word for “oak”.  You have seen the word before in the name of a famous American “old west”, Albuquerque.  Albus means “white”, and Quercus means “oak”.  Albuquerque, then, means “white oak”.

Acerfolia is a combination of two Latin words, acer (sharp) and folium (leaf).  Anytime you see “acer” in botany, you are dealing with a “Maple” tree, or shrub.

Our word “Maple” comes from the Old English mapultreow (maple tree).  The word shows up in print for the first time in The Knight’s Tale, by Geoffery Chaucer. 

I have looked diligently for the original meaning of the word Maple.  Unfortunately, I have discovered only dead ends.