There are 115 species of maple. Only 5 commercially important species grow in the U.S. Two of the five are hard rock maple and sugar maple.
Properties: Maple is so hard and resistant to shocks that it is often used for bowling alley floors. Its diffuse evenly sized pores give the wood a fine texture and even grain. Maple that has a curly grain is often used for violin backs (the pattern formed is known as fiddleback figure). Burls, leaf figure, and birds-eye figures found in maple are used extensively for veneers. The Birds eye figure in maple is said to be the result of stunted growth and is quite rare.
Uses: Maple is used extensively for American colonial furniture, especially in medium and lower priced categories. It can also be stained to simulate cherry wood, which it resembles.