In general, when we think about maple trees, the fascinating shape of maple leaves or the lovely taste of maple syrup comes to mind.
The maple leaf from the tree itself commands so much reverence that it’s even used as a national symbol for a country (Canada) and distinctively designed on the nation’s flag itself.
They can also put on a colorful display of leaves like ginkgo trees.
But in ancient Chinese culture, a maple tree is essentially a representation of moving up to a higher authority. And thus, a higher status.
A big reason for this association is that the mandarin word for maple tree is feng shu (枫树). The word feng is phonically similar sounding to the word feng (封) which is a word used to officially bestow or promote someone to a higher rank.
As such it is not uncommon in the old days to see government officials nurturing a big strong maple tree in the garden of their residences.
For this reason, a painting depicting a monkey perched on a maple tree reaching for a seal hanging on a branch carries the meaning of official promotion. This artwork is appropriate as gifts for people in official government positions.
When maple leaves are paired with chrysanthemum flowers, it carries the meaning of abundance.
It is also considered a tree of yang attributes. Making it a masculine tree.
In Taoist practices, maple leaves and maple bark are also common ingredients to cast spells for attracting love, healing, calling on courage, and even wealth luck, etc.
In spiritual healing, it is also connected to the healing of the kidneys, intestines and spleen.
There is no special meaning for the maple tree in feng shui. The symbolism it carries very much adhere to attaining higher authority and status as mentioned above.
When they are found around a house, it is said that residents would find the most success if working in a role for public service.