Silver maple

Silhouette - silver maple
  • Latin name: Acer saccharinum L.
  • French name: Érable argenté
  • Synonym(s): Soft maple
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 28757
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - silver maple

Form

  • 5–7 lobes
  • Central lobe narrowing to the centre of the leaf
  • Central and lateral lobes separated by deep, narrow notches

Length

  • About 15–20 cm

Width

  • Widest above the base

Colour

  • Upper surface light green
  • Lower surface silvery-white

Autumn colour

  • Pale yellow or brownish
  • Rarely red

Margin

  • Teeth coarse, sharp, irregular 

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - silver maple
  • Clustered flower buds on dwarf shoot - silver maple

Form

  • Terminal bud present, smooth, shiny
  • Flower buds stout

Length

  • Terminal bud 3–4 mm, almost twice as long as wide

Colour

  • Terminal bud reddish

Twigs

  • Winter twig - silver maple

Form

  • Unpleasant odour when bruised
  • Dwarf shoots bearing clusters of flower buds on most branches

Colour

  • Deep reddish brown

Flowers

Form

  • Small
  • Without petals
  • In tassel-like clusters (racemes)

Length

  • Stalks short

Colour

  • Greenish-yellow

Structure

  • Polygamo-monoecious

Floral timing

  • Late winter, long before the leaves
  • The earliest species of maple to flower

Fruits

  • Fruit with one key undeveloped - silver maple
  • Fruit - silver maple

Form

  • Angle between wings about 90°
  • Seedcase ribbed
  • Often seed develops in only one of the paired keys (samaras)
  • Samaras mature in late spring about the time leaves are fully developed
  • Shed individually

Length

  • Wings 40–70 mm

Structure

  • Samara
  • In joined pairs

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young
  • Developing long, thin, narrow flakes fastened at the centre and free at both ends
  • Appears shaggy

Colour

  • Grey when young, becoming dark reddish-brown

Size

Height

  • To 35 m

Diameter

  • To 100 cm

Maximum age

  • 130 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - silver maple

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Long, with ascending branches  

Crown

  • High, open

Open-grown

Trunk

  • Short
  • Dividing near the ground into a few sharply ascending branches

Crown

  • Broad, rounded at the top
  • Larger branches arch outward and downward, then turn upward at the ends

Habitat

Site

  • Best growth on rich, moist bottomlands bordering streams, swamps, lakeshores

Light tolerance

  • Shade-tolerant
Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
  • Silver maple
Distribution map
Distribution map - silver maple
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