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Similar but less problematic plants:
Acer saccharum form and fall color
Acer saccharinum is often confused with:
Acer rubrum Acer rubrum
Acer x freemanii 'Autumn Blaze' - tree row with fall color
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Acer saccharum subsp. leucoderme  Acer leucoderme
Baptisia tinctoria Baptisia tinctoria
Aesculus pavia Photo of Aesculus pavia flowers

Swamp Maple Acer saccharinum

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser sak-kar-EYE-num
Description

Silver maple is a large shade tree in the Sapindaceae family.  It gets its common name from the silvery undersides of its leaves. It is native to eastern North America and is often found in flood plains, along streams or rivers, or low-lying woodlands.  It has attractive gray to dark brown bark that as the tree matures develops a shaggy appearance as the bark develops long thin flaky scales that exfoliate at the ends.  This tree grows at a rapid pace and has a graceful form making it a once very popular landscape tree.  It has fallen out of favor recently because of its weak wood and tendency toward breakage.  It would make an excellent addition to a rain garden as it can grow in areas of poor soil or wet conditions where other stronger wooded trees cannot. Specific epithet means sugary in reference to the sweet sap.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems though scale and borers may be present. Verticillium wilt, anthracnose, and canker can affect stressed trees. Silver maples grow rapidly so they tend to have weak brittle branches that are susceptible to breaking in high winds or when coated with ice/snow in winter. Shallow roots may damage nearby sidewalks.

Site: Full sun, Partial Shade

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blair'
  • 'Lutescens'
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#shade tree#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#drought tolerant#tree#maple#nectar plant#rapid growth#air pollution tolerant#wet sites#rapid growth rate#NC native#grows fast#dry soil tolerant#woodland#Braham Arboretum#poor soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blair'
  • 'Lutescens'
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#shade tree#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#drought tolerant#tree#maple#nectar plant#rapid growth#air pollution tolerant#wet sites#rapid growth rate#NC native#grows fast#dry soil tolerant#woodland#Braham Arboretum#poor soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    saccharinum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Bonsai and to produce maple syrup
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    It is native to eastern North America and is often found in floo
    Distribution:
    Eastern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Early spring source of nectar for bees
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Open
    Oval
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant, greenish yellow to red flowers in early spring. Regular, pentamerous in racemes, corymbs or umbels
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3 to 6 in. opposite, palmately veined leaf with 5 deeply cut lobes; silvery underside; medium green on top, yellow, brown combination fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Shaggy
    Bark Description:
    It has attractive gray to dark brown bark that as the tree matures develops a shaggy appearance as the bark develops long thin flaky scales that exfoliate at the ends.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Silver maples grow rapidly so they tend to have weak brittle branches that are susceptible to breaking in high winds or when coated with ice/snow in winter.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil