Acer saccharinum


Acer saccharinum
Acer saccharinum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae[1]
Genus: Acer
Species: A. saccharinum
Binomial name
Acer saccharinum
L.

The silver maple (Acer saccharinum)—also called creek maple, river maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, water maple, or white maple—is a species of maple native to eastern North America in the eastern United States and Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.

Contents

Description

A Silver Maple leaf

The silver maple is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree, commonly reaching a height of 15–25 m (50–80 ft), exceptionally 35 m (115 ft). Its spread will generally be 11–15 m (35–50 ft) wide. A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 8 m (25 ft) tall. It is often found along waterways and in wetlands, leading to the colloquial name "water maple". It is a highly adaptable tree, although it has higher sunlight requirements than other maples.

Silver maple leaves

The leaves are palmate, 8–16 cm long and 6–12 cm broad, with deep angular notches between the five lobes. The 5–12 cm long, slender stalks of the leaves mean that even a light breeze can produce a striking effect as the silver undersides of the leaves are exposed. The autumn color is less pronounced than in many maples, generally ending up a pale yellow, although some specimens can produce a more brilliant yellow and even orange and red colorations. Some specimens can simply drop their leaves while still green as well.

The flowers are in small panicles, produced before the leaves in early spring, with the seeds maturing in early summer. The seeds are winged, in pairs, small (5–10 mm diameter), the wing about 3–5 cm long. Although the wings provide for some transport by air, the seeds are heavy and are also transported by water.

On mature trunks, the bark is gray and shaggy. On branches and young trunks, the bark is smooth and silvery gray.

In many parts of the eastern U.S., the large rounded buds of the silver maple are one of the primary food sources for squirrels during the spring, after many acorns and nuts have sprouted and the squirrels' food is scarce. The seeds are the largest of any native maple and are also a food source for wildlife.

Cultivation

Freeman maple leaf
Silver maple bark

The silver maple has brittle wood, and is commonly damaged in storms. The roots are shallow and fibrous and easily invade septic fields and old drain pipes and can also crack sidewalks and foundations. It is a vigorous resprouter, and if not pruned, it will often grow with multiple trunks. It is, nonetheless, widely used as an ornamental tree because of its rapid growth and ease of propagation and transplanting. It is highly tolerant of urban conditions, which is why it is frequently planted next to streets. Although it naturally is found near water, it can grow on drier ground if planted there.

It is also commonly cultivated outside its native range, showing tolerance of a wide range of climates, growing successfully as far north as central Norway and south to Orlando, Florida. It can thrive in a Mediterranean climate, as at Jerusalem and Los Angeles, if summer water is provided. It is also grown in temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere: Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, the southern states of Brazil, as well as in a few lower temperature locations within the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, (also in Brazil).[citation needed]

The silver maple is closely related to the red maple, and can hybridise with it, the hybrid being known as the Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii). The Freeman maple is a popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, combining the fast growth of silver maple with the less brittle wood and less invasive roots of the red maple.

The silver maple is the favoured host of the parasitic cottony maple scale.[citation needed]

Cultural References

In the English Christmas carol, "Wassail, Wassail All Over the Town", the "white maple" in "Our bowl, it is made of the white maple tree" refers not to the silver (white) maple but the wood of the Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus.

References

  1. ^ Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since]. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Acer saccharinum — Érable argenté Érable argenté …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Acer saccharinum —   Arce plateado …   Wikipedia Español

  • Acer saccharinum — Silber Ahorn Silber Ahorn (Acer saccharinum) Systematik Unterklasse: Rosenähnliche (Rosidae) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Acer saccharinum — Maple Ma ple (m[=a] p l), n. [AS. mapolder, mapulder, mapol; akin to Icel. m[ o]purr; cf. OHG. mazzaltra, mazzoltra, G. massholder.] (Bot.) A tree of the genus {Acer}, including about fifty species. {Acer saccharinum} is the {rock maple}, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Acer saccharinum — sidabrinis klevas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Klevinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, medieninis augalas (Acer saccharinum), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Acer saccharinum angl. river maple; silver maple; soft maple; white maple… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Acer saccharinum — Sugar Sug ar, n. [OE. sugre, F. sucre (cf. It. zucchero, Sp. az[ u]car), fr. Ar. sukkar, assukkar, fr. Skr. [,c]arkar[=a] sugar, gravel; cf. Per. shakar. Cf. {Saccharine}, {Sucrose}.] 1. A sweet white (or brownish yellow) crystalline substance,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Acer saccharinum — ID 762 Symbol Key ACSA2 Common Name silver maple Family Aceraceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO,… …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Acer saccharinum — …   Википедия

  • Acer saccharinum L. — Symbol ACSA2 Common Name silver maple Botanical Family Aceraceae …   Scientific plant list

  • Acer saccharinum — noun a common North American maple tree; five lobed leaves are light green above and silvery white beneath; source of hard close grained but brittle light brown wood • Syn: ↑silver maple • Hypernyms: ↑maple …   Useful english dictionary


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