Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

Silver maple leaves

Click on the images help you identify an Silver maple.



Height 100' or more with a diameter of up to 36" or more; trunk usually short, divided into a number of long ascending limbs that are again divided and their small branches droop but turn upward at tips, forming a broad, rounded crown.


On young branches smooth and varying in color from reddish to a yellowish gray; on old branches dark gray and broken into long flakes or scales.


Simple, opposite on stem, length 4" to 6"; three to five lobes ending in long points with toothed edges and separated by deep, angular openings; pale green on upper surface and silvery underneath; pale yellow to orange in autumn. Buds rounded and red or reddish brown.

Fruit (seed)

A pair of winged seeds (samaras), 1" to 2" long, on slender, flexible, threadlike stems about an inch in length.


Common in southern Minnesota; scattered northward to the upper Mississippi River; moderately shade intolerant, fast growing.

Wood uses

Light brown, strong, fairly hard, even-textured, rather brittle, easily worked, decays readily when exposed to weather or soil; occasionally used for flooring, furniture, and fuel; often mixed with red maple for commercial purposes; extensively planted as a shade and ornamental tree.

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