General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10a
Plant Height: 50-80 feet (fast-growing)
Plant Spread: 35-70 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: Deeply 5-lobed light green leaves (to 6” across) have silvery undersides. Fall color is usually unremarkable.
Fruit: Other: Female flowers develop into pairs of samaras (seeds with long wings), which are eaten by many birds and mammals
Fruiting Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Green
Other: Greenish yellow to red
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Useful for timber production
Edible Parts: Sap
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds
Needs specific temperature: can germinate in a wide range of temperatures, but prefers 70F
Other info: Seed will die if it dries out. Sow immediately in moist soil. Germinates quickly.
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Image
Common names
  • Silver Maple
  • Soft Maple
  • River Maple
  • Silverleaf Maple
  • White Maple
  • Maple

Photo Gallery

Date: Autumn
Location: My neighbor's field next to us in Northern KY.  The bird feeder is on our property.
Date: 2009-01-03
Location: Aberdeen, NC
Date: March 28, 2022
Silver maple #116; RAB page 1183, 115-1-5; AG page 117, 29-3-3; L
Location: Aberdeen, NC
Date: April 1, 2022
Silver maple #116; RAB page 1183, 115-1-5; AG page 117, 29-3-3; L
Location: Northeastern Indiana
Date: 2012-03-13
Female bloom
Location: Aberdeen, NC
Date: March 28, 2022
Silver maple #116; RAB page 1183, 115-1-5; AG page 117, 29-3-3; L
Location: Aberdeen, NC
Date: April 1, 2022
Silver maple #116; RAB page 1183, 115-1-5; AG page 117, 29-3-3; L
Location: Aberdeen, NC
Date: April 1, 2022
Silver maple #116; RAB page 1183, 115-1-5; AG page 117, 29-3-3; L

clipart-fr
Location: Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-08-17
summer foliage

photo credit: Alberto Salguero
Location: Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-08-17
two full-grown trees together near a creek
Location: Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-08-17
two trunks with bark looking a little bit different on each
Location: Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-08-17
closer shot of leaves above, underneath was not real silver

Date: 2016-08-18
Seedling showing some variegation
Location: southeast pennsylvania
Date: November 2016
full-grown tree in fall color
Location: Home
Date: 2016-08-17
Location: Home
Date: 2016-08-17
Location: Swallow Falls (And Muddy Creek Falls), Maryland | May, 2023

Date: 2014-04-17
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: July 2008
My neighbor's silver maple.  Approx. 30 years old.
Location: west suburbs of Chicago
Date: March 1980's
the reddish flowers
Location: BG Meise (Belgium)
Date: 2015-10-23
Location: BG Meise (Belgium)
Date: 2015-10-23
Location: Northeastern Indiana - Zone 5
Date: 2011-10-05
End of Summer Leaves
Location: Along the Conestoga River~ Eden Township~ Lancaster County Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-07-21
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: 2012-04-04
Brand new baby leaves.  These are about an inch in size.  They'll
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: 2012-04-04
Samaras from this year's bloom
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-03-07
Branch section with buds - late winter, early spring
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-03-07
Male bloom

credit: Than217
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2012-03-07
Tree with buds - late winter, early spring
Location: Northeastern Indiana
Date: 2012-03-13
Monoecious plant - female blooms on lower branches to catch more
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2013-11-04
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2007-12-06
full-grown tree in winter
Location: Aurora, Illinois
Date: summer in the 1980's
mature tree in summer
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5
Date: 2011-09-30
Lighter Leaf Reverse
Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5b
Date: 2011-11-02
Autumn Leaf Color.
Location: Northeastern Indiana - Zone 5
Date: 2011-10-05
Displaying a Clump of Silver Maples
Location: Northeastern Indiana - Zone 5
Date: 2011-10-05
A rather untidy, fast growing tree. Even so, it quickly supplied
Location: Tarlton
Date: 2018-05-27
Location: Tarlton
Date: 2018-05-27

photo credit:  Dan Mullen
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Comments:
  • Posted by Skiekitty (Denver Metro - Zone 5a) on Apr 4, 2012 9:23 AM concerning plant:
    VERY soft wooded tree. Does not withstand high winds. If branches are broken in the late fall/winter/extreme early spring, the tree will "bleed" sap very profusely. This is not a sugar maple & is not suitable for making maple syrup. Tolerates extremes in temperature, once established tolerates drought. Very fast growing, so used a lot in urban settings (which it is NOT suitable for due to the brittle branches & the sappiness). Also drops lots of "berries" which is VERY messy & annoying. The berries (not the samaras, but something in between, not sure) are not sticky, but are produced in huge amounts. This is an important lumber tree.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 13, 2017 3:30 PM concerning plant:
    Because the Silver (Soft) Maple is weak-wooded and grows so large, it is not recommended for the residential yard. It is a very common tree growing along rivers and in bottomlands in eastern North America, from southeast Canada to northwest Florida to eastern Kansas up to central Minnesota. It is fast growing of about 2 to 3 feet/year and lives about 100 years. It drops some twigs and small branches and produces lots of large samaras ( winged seeds) in early summer. I lived near a specimen for a few years that had very yellow leaves, showing magnesium chlorosis in higher pH soil, probably above 7.5 or so. My mother bought a 'Silver Queen' cultivar from a nursery in the 1960's in the Chicago area, and it is still doing fine in the front yard in 2019, and has not really had any bad damage; though it has gotten bigger there and may eventually pose some danger as it gets old. Most nurseries don't sell this species anymore, which is wise. It would be alright for a large park or commercial property, but it is not a really great tree for residential landscaping. Some cheap mail order nurseries still sell some, and some special native plant nurseries grow some for conservational purposes in natural parks and wildlands. There are some hybrid Red x Silver Maples (Freeman Maples) that are better for landscaping.
Plant Events from our members
christine2 On November 1, 2010 Obtained plant
WebTucker On March 27, 2022 Bloomed
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