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Acer saccharinum L.
Silver maple, Soft maple, White maple
Synonym(s): Acer dasycarpum, Acer saccharinum var. laciniatum, Acer saccharinum var. wieri, Argentacer saccharinum
USDA Symbol: ACSA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Large tree 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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Green, Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
N.B. to e. Ont. & MN,
s. to n.w. FL,
& e. NE Native Habitat:
Rich bottomlands; moist hillsides; river banks
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
Seed has no dormancy and germinates immediately after maturing. Treated softwood cuttings root readily. Seed Collection:
The winged fruit
of maples is called a samara. Seed is usually not extracted from the samara. Seed Treatment:
For maximum germination, most maple species require a period of warm-moist stratification followed by cool stratification. Commercially Avail:
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Johnstown, PAMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-06-27
Research By: TWC Staff