Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum
Silver Maple - Acer saccharinum, is a medium to large tree that matures at 50-80 feet in height and 2-3 feet in diameter. Usually forking near the ground with two or three main trunks supporting an openly spreading crown. The Silver Maple is most easily identified by it's sharply forked form, thin, flat edge curling bark, widely spaced branches and large often partially exposed (runner) roots. When split the fissures in the bark often expose a pink color below the brown-gray upper bark.
Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
The leaves are opposite, 6-8 inches long with prominent, pointed, coarsely toothed lobes and narrow, rounded sinuses. The lower leaf surfaces are a silver color while the upper are a crisp green. Silver Maple logs are harvested and sold often combined with Red Maple and other soft Maples. The buds are often eaten by Squirrels when other foods are not available.
Silver Maple can be found growing almost anywhere in the Eastern Untied States. Preferring moist, deep, well drained soils where it can get sufficient moisture, for this reason it is often times found growing near stream or river banks.