Silver Maple Fact Sheet
Family: Aceraceae - Maple Family
Latin name: Acer saccharinum
Common name: Silver maple
- Silver maple trees are common in the Midwest. They are fast growing trees. The disadvantage of growing so quickly is that the wood is not as strong as in trees that grow more slowly.
- The trunk is usually short and separates into several "subtrunks" early on.
- The Silver maple is the first tree to flower in the Midwest. Although they give the tree a reddish (female flowers) or brownish (male flowers) tinge, they are not showy and are seldom noticed by the general population.
- The flowers of the Acer saccharinum are monoecious. There are separate male and female flowers but they may appear on the same tree, even on the same branch. The flowers are in dense clusters.
- The fruit of maple trees are called "samaras". The samaras of the Silver maple are larger than any other native maples. Since the flowers of the Acer saccharinum emerge long before the leaves, the fruit is well developed by late spring. This Silver maple is one of the few native maples that release their fruit in the Spring. The samara appear in pairs, but it is not uncommon for only one of them to develop fully.
- The leaves of the Silver maple are simple, opposite and have 5 deeply lobed sinuses. They are light green above and silvery white below. Young leaves may be reddish.
- The bark of the Silver maple is light grey and it's smooth when the tree is young. In older trees, the bark breaks into thin strips and with loose ends.
Classification: Acer saccharinum L.
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae –
Order Sapindales –
Family Aceraceae – Maple family
Genus Acer L. – maple
Species Acer saccharinum L. – Silver maple
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