These trivets are actually made with oak but most of my items are made with Hard Maple Wood.
Maple is available in a hard and soft version. Hard Maple is nicknamed, Rock Maple" because it's strong as a rock! When cutting projects, depending on the project, the finished product can be extremely delicate. So one of the most important reasons I use Hard Maple is because of its durability.
Another reason to use Hard Maple instead of Soft Maple is the look. Hard Maple has a more even toned, lighter finish than Soft Maple. Soft Maple's finish can vary from light to a dark gray color.
Soft Maple does have it's place in the shop though. It actually has the best paintable surface for projects that are going to be painted. Some of your softer woods such as Pine can get dented and marred easily where Soft Maple has a smother finish and is a much harder wood than pine. Many cabinet makers use Soft Maple for their painted cabinets.
Hard Maple comes from the Sugar Maple tree (your Maple Syrup Tree). Red Maple and Silvertree Maple trees are the most common trees for your Soft Maple.
Other reason that I use Hard Maple is the price and the availability. I have a wonderful supplier here in Southwest Florida. They allow me to pick through their boards to find the perfect pieces of wood in the thickness and width that I need.
Enjoy your day,