silver maple
Acer saccharinum
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: white maple
  • LEAVES: opposite, simple, deciduous; 5 palmate lobes, the terminal (central) lobe usually more than half as long as the entire leaf blade; margins doubly toothed; silvery lower surface; red petioles
  • FLOWER: monoecious or dioecious; greenish to yellow; appear before leaves; February
  • FRUIT: samara, wings 1.5 - 2 inches long; germinates immediately
  • TWIGS: slender, dark red, shiny; fetid odor inside
  • BARK: silver-gray on young trees; long, thin scaly plates on older trees
  • FORM: medium tree; 60-80 feet tall, 2-3 feet diameter; multiple stems; weak crotches
  • HABITAT: river banks and batture forests
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE [MAP]: eastern US
  • USES: seed - birds and mammals, especially good at maturity; twigs - browse for mammals deer, moose, rabbits, beavers; wood is of medium quality (soft maple); sap - 1:50 or more per gallon syrup
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. opposite leaves and branching
    2. deeply incised 5-lobed leaf with central lobe being more than half as long as the entire leaf blade; V-shaped sinuses
    3. silvery lower surface of leaf with fine appressed pubescence, glabrous upper surface