Silver Maple

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Silver Maple

Silver Maple leaves
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Sapindales
Family:Sapindaceae
Genus:Acer
Species:A. saccharinum

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) is a species of maple native to the eastern United States and adjacent parts of southeast Canada. It is a relatively fast-growing tree, commonly reaching a height of 20-30 m, exceptionally 35 m. It is often found along waterways and in wetlands, leading to the colloquial name "Water Maple". It is one of the commonest trees in the United States.

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 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.

Silver Maple bark
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Silver Maple bark

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

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. It is, nonetheless, widely used as an ornamental tree because of its rapid growth and ease of propagation and transplanting.

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, as in Argentina and Uruguay.

Silver Maple is closely related to 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 Red Maple.

External link

UConn Plant Database: Silver Maple (http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/a/acesac/acesac1.html)da:Sølv-Løn (Acer saccharinum) de:Silber-Ahorn

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