Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Acer saccharinum L.
Silver maple, Soft maple, White maple
Aceraceae (Maple Family)
with short, stout trunk, few large forks, spreading, open, irregular crown of long, curving branches, and graceful cut-leaves. A large canopy tree,
75-100 ft. tall, silver maple’s massive, ascending limbs form a graceful, oval
or rounded crown. Plump, red flower buds are visible in winter and the first to bloom in spring. Deeply-cut, deciduous
leaves are silvery underneath. Fall color ranges from yellow-brown to yellow tinged with bright red.
Its rapid growth makes Silver Maple a popular shade tree; however, its form is not generally pleasing, its brittle branches are easily broken in windstorms, and the abundant fruit
produces litter. Sugar can be obtained from the sweetish sap,
but yield is low. Landscape value should be tempered as it becomes a liability with age. Silver maple sap
is only half as sweet as that of sugar maple (Acer saccharum
), but with patient boiling it yields a delicious pale syrup.
Image Gallery: 2 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Green, Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
N.B. to e. Ont. & MN, s. to n.w. FL, e. OK & e. NE Native Habitat:
Rich bottomlands; moist hillsides; river banks USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, wet to moist, slightly acid soils.
BenefitWarning: Will cause sidewalks to buckle and drain tiles to clog. Should be considered in areas of poor soils where few other species will survive.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: