PlantsAcer→Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Silver Maple
Give a thumbs up Soft Maple
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet 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 9b
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
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
Useful for timber production
Edible Parts: Sap
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Seed will die if it dries out. Sow immediately in moist soil. Germinates quickly.
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Monoecious


The Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP MembersThe Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP Members
By dave on March 15, 2014

Here's a report of the most popular water garden plants from our database!

(Full article14 comments)
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Posted by Skiekitty (Denver Metro - Zone 5a) on Apr 4, 2012 9:23 AM

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.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 13, 2017 3:30 PM

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.

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Plant Events from our members
christine2 On November 1, 2010 Obtained plant
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Are There any maple trees in zone 10a? by JaneLee Jul 4, 2021 7:59 AM 12
What species is this maple? by TiaLee May 16, 2021 5:36 PM 7
floating or sinking seeds by mmolyson Dec 18, 2020 5:40 PM 7
How can a seedling of a hybrid Freeman maple be classed as a pure Acer rubrum? by arctangent Jul 24, 2021 9:56 AM 2
Maple ID please by mozart007 Nov 1, 2019 10:41 AM 8
Japanese maple forum by ediblelandscapingsc May 4, 2020 6:02 AM 130
Tree Type for a Specific Spot by AmoebaPace May 2, 2018 6:39 AM 1
Tree and shrub identification by Lblair Mar 3, 2018 9:01 PM 10
Maple Tree Roots by CaptTony Jun 16, 2017 10:49 PM 9
What is this tree? by Safroniabee Apr 30, 2017 4:06 PM 6

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