Silver Maple

Acer saccharinum

Silver Maple: Full Tree
  • Family: Aceraceae

  • Height of tree between 15-24m (50-80’)

  • Shorter, fatter trunk with large forked, spreading branches

  • Crown tends to be irregular

  • Relatively brittle branches easily break

  • Accumulates abundant litter created by its fruit

  • Produces sweet sap; not as sweet Sugar Maple sap

Photo by Jason Biggerstaff

Leaves
Twigs & Fruiting Structures
Bark
Distribution and Uses

Leaves

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Silver Maple: Leaf - Click for larger image
Silver Maple: Key - Click for larger image

Twigs & Fruiting Structures

  • Twigs long and reddish, may give off unpleasant odor when broken

  • Buds reddish, blunt, several-scaled (click here for image)

  • Flowers are red or green, 6 mm long (1/4”); cluster along twigs; appear between February and May

  • Keys are 4-6 cm (1.5-2.5”) in length, light brown, widely forking

Photo by Dan Perlman

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Bark

  • Greyish mature bark; tends to flake (often leaving brown spots)

Distribution & Uses

  • Prefers wet soils

  • Found throughout most of eastern United States

  • Often planted for shade because of rapid growth pattern

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Silver Maple: Bark - Click for larger image