Acer saccharinum, commonly known as silver maple, creek maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, large maple, water maple, swamp maple, or white maple—is a species of maple native to the eastern and central United States and southeastern Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.
|Natural range of Acer saccharinum|
The silver maple tree is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree, commonly reaching a height of 15–25 m (49–82 ft), exceptionally 35 m (115 ft). Its spread will generally be 11–15 m (36–49 ft) wide. A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 8 m (26 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 maple trees.
The leaves are simple and palmately veined, 8–16 cm (3 1⁄4–6 1⁄4 in) long and 6–12 cm (2 1⁄4–4 3⁄4 in) broad, with deep angular notches between the five lobes. The 5–12 cm (2–4 3⁄4 in) long, slender stalks of the leaves mean that even a light breeze can produce a striking effect as the downy 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. The tree has a tendency to color and drop its leaves slightly earlier in autumn than other maples.
The flowers are in dense clusters, produced before the leaves in early spring, with the seeds maturing in early summer. The fruit are samaras, each containing a single seed, and winged, in pairs, small (5–10 mm or 0.20–0.39 in in diameter), the wing about 3–5 cm (1 1⁄4–2 in) long. The fruit are the largest of any native maple. Although the wings provide for some transport by air, the fruit are heavy and are also transported by water. Silver maple and its close cousin red maple are the only Acer species which produce their fruit crop in spring instead of fall. The seeds of both trees have no epigeal dormancy and will germinate immediately. Seed production begins at 11 years of age and large crops are produced most years. Like most maples, silver maple can be variably dioecious (separate male or female trees) or monoecious (male and female flowers on the same tree) but dioecious trees are far more common. They can also change genders from year to year.
On mature trunks, the bark is gray and shaggy. On branches and young trunks, the bark is smooth and silvery gray.
Wildlife uses the silver maple in various ways. In many parts of the eastern U.S., the large rounded buds 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 also a food source for squirrels, chipmunks and birds. The bark can be eaten by beaver and deer. The trunks tend to produce cavities, which can shelter squirrels, raccoons, opossums, owls and woodpeckers. Additionally, the leaves serve as a source of food for species of Lepidoptera, such as the rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda).
Native Americans used the sap of wild trees to make sugar, as medicine, and in bread. They used the wood to make baskets and furniture. An infusion of bark removed from the south side of the tree is used by the Mohegan for cough medicine.
Today the wood can be used as pulp for making paper. Lumber from the tree is used in furniture, cabinets, flooring, musical instruments, crates, and tool handles, because it is light and easily worked. Because of the silver maple's fast growth, it is being researched as a potential source of biofuels. Silver maple produces a sweet sap but it is generally not used by commercial sugarmakers because its sugar content is lower than in other maple species.
Silver maple is often planted as an ornamental tree because of its rapid growth and ease of propagation and transplanting. It is highly tolerant of urban situations and is frequently planted next to streets. However, its quick growth produces brittle wood which is commonly damaged in storms. The silver maple's root system is shallow and fibrous and easily invades septic fields and old drain pipes; it can also crack sidewalks and foundations. It is a vigorous resprouter, and if not pruned, will often grow with multiple trunks. Although it naturally is found near water, it can grow on drier ground if planted there. In ideal natural conditions, A. saccharinum may live up to 130 years but in urban environments often 80 or less.
Following World War II, silver maples were commonly used as a landscaping and street tree in suburban housing developments and cities due to their rapid growth, especially as a replacement for the blighted American elm. However, they fell out of favor for this purpose because of brittle wood, unattractive form when not pruned or trained, and tendency to produce large numbers of volunteer seedlings. Today the tree has fallen so far out of favor that some towns and cities have banned its use as a street tree.
Silver maple's natural range encompasses most of the eastern US, Midwest, and southern Canada. It is generally absent from the humid coastal plain south of Maryland and is confined to the Appalachians there and does not occur in Florida outside a few scattered locations in the panhandle.
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 low-temperature locations within the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais).
The silver maple is closely related to the red maple (Acer rubrum) and can hybridise with it. The hybrid variation is known as the Freeman maple (Acer × 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, less invasive roots, and the beautiful bright red fall foliage of the red maple. The cultivar Acer × freemanii Autumn Blaze = 'Jeffersred' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Acer kenaicum is an extinct maple species in the family Sapindaceae described from a pair of fossil leaves and a samara. The species is known solely from the Oligocene sediments found exposed in central coastal Alaska, US. It is one of several extinct species belonging to the living section Rubra.Acleris chalybeana
Acleris chalybeana, the lesser maple leafroller moth, is a species of moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in North America, where it has been recorded from Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.The wingspan is 20–21 mm. The forewings are olive grey. Adults have been recorded on wing from March to November.
The larvae feed on the leaves of Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum, Acer spicatum, Quercus rubra, Betula (including Betula papyrifera), Corylus and Fagus species. They are light green and reach a length of about 19 mm. Early instar larvae may overwinter in hibernacula on twigs of their host plant. Pupation takes place in a folded leaf shelter.Acleris semiannula
Acleris semiannula is a species of moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in North America, where it has been recorded from Alberta, British Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Brunswick, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.The wingspan is 12–15 mm. The forewings are usually light red-brown, but may also be pale to fawn and sometimes even dull smoky grey. The costal triangle is often composed of red-brown scales, but may also be dark brown. Adults have been recorded on wing year round.
The larvae feed on Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum and Quercus alba.Alice Abel Arboretum
The Alice Abel Arboretum is a 25 acres (10 hectares) arboretum located at 5000 St. Paul Street on the campus of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Arboretum includes over 100 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Its woody plants include Abies concolor, Acer campestre, Acer Ginnala, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum, Acer saccharum, Aesculus hippocastanum, Betula papyrifera, Catalpa speciosa, Celtis occidentalis, Cercis canadensis, Cornus alba 'argenteo marginata, Crataegus crusgalli, Euonymus alatus 'Compactus, Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ginkgo biloba, Gymnocladus dioicus, Juniperus virginiana, Juniperus virginiana 'Taylor, Magnolia soulangiana, Malus spp., Phellodendron amurense, Picea abies, Picea pungens glauca, Pinus mugo, Pinus nigra, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus strobus, Pinus sylvestris, Platanus occidentalis, Populus deltoides, Prunus padus, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus bicolor, Quercus macrocarpa, Quercus palustris, Quercus robur, Quercus rubra, Rhus spp., Spiraea spp., Syringa spp., Taxodium distichum, Taxus cuspidata, Tilla euchlora, Ulmus americana, and Viburnum lentago.Caloptilia packardella
Caloptilia packardella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Quebec, Canada, and the United States (including Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Vermont and Illinois).The wingspan is about 11 mm. There are at least two generations per year in Illinois.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer platanoides, Acer saccharum and Acer saccharinum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The larvae make a typical leaf cone.Cameraria aceriella
The maple leafblotch miner (Cameraria aceriella) is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Quebec, Canada and Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Vermont in the United States.The wingspan is 8–9 mm. Adults are on wing from the end of May to June.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. They mine into the parenchyma, just under the upper surface of the leaf. Later, they wrap silk around part of their mines to pupate. Part of the population overwinters in the larval form inside leaves that have fallen to the ground and pupate the following spring. The other part overwinters as pupae.Cameraria saccharella
Cameraria saccharella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Quebec, Canada, and Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Maine, New York, Connecticut and Vermont in the United States.
The wingspan is 5–7 mm.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer nigrum, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum and Acer saccharum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine has the form of a small irregular blotch mine on the upperside of the leaf. There may be up to thirty mines on a single leaf. The pupa is not enclosed in a cocoon.Gramine
Gramine (also called donaxine) is a naturally occurring indole alkaloid present in several plant species. Gramine may play a defensive role in these plants, since it is toxic to many organisms.List of Danish Acers
This is a list of Acer (maple) species cultivated in Denmark. Native species are marked in bold.
Acer aidzuense (A. ginnala var. aidzuense)
Acer caudatum var. ukurunduense (A. ukurundense)
Acer x coriaceum 'Macrophyllum' (A. monspessulanum x A. pseudoplatanus)
Acer davidii Zone 6 - 9, not hardy
Acer glabrum var. douglasii
Acer granatense (A. opalus var. granatense)
Acer grosseri var. hersii
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'
Acer maximowicziana (A. nikoense)
Acer negundo var. pseudocalifornicum
Acer negundo var. violaceum
Acer opalus var. obtusatum (A. opalus ssp. obtusatum)
Acer opalus var. opulifolium (A. opalus ssp. obtusatum)
Acer opalus var. tomentosum
Acer palmatum var. amoenum
Acer palmatum var. matsumurae
Acer pseudoplatanus 'Prins Handjeri'
Acer saccharinum 'Pyramidale'
Acer semenovii (A. tataricum ssp. semenovii)
Acer tetramerum var. betulifolium
Acer velutinumList of plants by common name
This is a list of plants organized by their common names. However, the common names of plants often vary from region to region, which is why most plant encyclopedias refer to plants using their scientific names, in other words using binomials or "Latin" names.Morrisonia latex
The Fluid Arches (Morrisonia latex) is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found from Nova Scotia to South Carolina, west to Arkansas and north to Manitoba.
The moth flies from May to July depending on the location.
The larvae feed on Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Acer saccharinum, Acer nigrum, Prunus serotina, Betula lenta, Betula nigra, Betula lutea, Betula papyrifera, Ulmus americana, Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Quercus prinus, Quercus velutina and Sassafras albidum.Pandemis lamprosana
Pandemis lamprosana, the woodgrain leafroller moth, is a species of moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in North America, where it has been recorded from the north-eastern United States, Quebec and Ontario.
The length of the forewings is 8-10.5 mm for males and 9.5–12 mm for females. The forewings are light brown with fasciate markings. The hindwings are white to light grey. Adults are on wing from late June to July in one generation per year.
The larvae feed on the leaves of various deciduous trees, including Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum, Acer spicatum, Betula alleghaniensis, Betula papyrifera, Ostrya virginiana, Gleditsia triacanthos, Fagus species, Quercus species (including Quercus rubra), Hamamelis species, Sassafras species, Fraxinus species (including Fraxinus americana), Platanus species, Prunus virginiana, Populus tremuloides, Tilia americana, Ulmus americana and Ulmus rubra. Full-grown larvae reach a length of about 20 mm. They are uniform green. The species overwinters as a third instar larva. Pupation takes place at the final larval feeding site.Pandemis limitata
Pandemis limitata, the three-lined leafroller, is a species of moth of the Tortricidae family. It is found in North America, where it has been recorded from Nova Scotia to British Columbia and from the east coast west to the Rocky Mountains and Arizona. It has also been recorded from Durango in Mexico.
The length of the forewings is 7–9.5 mm for males and 9–12 mm for females. The forewings are brown with fasciate markings. The hindwings are grey and white. Adults are on wing from June to August in one or two generations per year.
The larvae are leaf rollers. They feed on Acer negundo, Acer saccharinum, Alnus species (including Alnus incana and Alnus rubra), Betula species (including Betula papyrifera), Corylus species (including Corylus americana), Viburnum species, Euonymus atropurpureus, Cornus racemosa, Vaccinium species, Amorpha fruticosa, Trifolium species, Castanea species, Quercus species (including Quercus alba and Quercus macrocarpa), Myrica gale, Osmunda species, Malus species (including Malus domestica and Malus sylvestris), Prunus species (including Prunus avium and Prunus virginiana), Sorbus species, Populus species (including Populus alba, Populus balsamifera and Populus tremuloides), Salix species, Tilia americana and Ulmus species (including Ulmus americana and Ulmus rubra), and others. They feed on the terminal leaf growth and sometimes on the fruit of their host plant. Larvae reach a length of about 20 mm. They are entirely green and unmarked. Pupation takes place at the final larval feeding site.Phyllonorycter clemensella
Phyllonorycter clemensella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Québec in Canada and Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Maine, Connecticut and Michigan in the United States.The wingspan is 6-6.5 mm.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer saccharinum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine has the form of a tentiform mine on the underside of the leaf.Phyllonorycter lucidicostella
The lesser maple leaf blotch miner (Phyllonorycter lucidicostella) is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Ontario and Québec in Canada and Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan, New York, Vermont and North Carolina in the United States.
The wingspan is about 6.5 mm.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer floridanum and Acer saccharinum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine has the form of a tentiform mine on the underside the leaf. The frass is collected into a ball within the mine. The pupa is suspended in a web of silk within the mine.Phyllonorycter trinotella
Phyllonorycter trinotella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from Québec in Canada and New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, Ohio, Vermont and Michigan in the United States.The wingspan is about 5 mm.
The larvae feed on Acer species, including Acer platanoides, Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinum. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine has the form of a small tentiform, much wrinkled mine on the underside of the leaf.Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Arboretum
The Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Arboretum is an arboretum maintained by the nonprofit Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. It is located at 31 Titus Mill Road, Hopewell Township, in Mercer County, New Jersey. It is open daily without charge.
The arboretum is located within the association's 860-acre (3.5 km2) nature reserve. Its tree collection includes Acer japonicum (Japanese maple), Acer saccharinum (silver maple), Carya spp. (hickory), Cedrus libani (blue atlas cedar), Fagus grandifolia (American beech), Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo), Ilex opaca (American holly), Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum), Magnolia sp. (magnolia), Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood), Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore), and Quercus spp. (oak).Timocratica palpalis
Timocratica palpalis is a moth of the family Depressariidae. It is found in Brazil (Espirito Santo, Bahia, Distrito Federal, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo), Bolivia and Argentina.The wingspan is 56–60 mm. The forewings and hindwings are white, beneath with broad yellow-ochreous costal bands, sometimes some grey suffusion at the apex of the forewings.The larvae feed on the bark of Acer saccharinum, Acer platanoides, Casuarina equisetifolia, Belangera tomentosa, Diospyros kaki, Castanea sativa, Quercus robus, Persea americana, Tibouchina candolleiana, Tibouchina urvilleana, Calycorectes pohlianus, Campomanesia acida, Eucalyptus alba, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus ciriodora, Eucalyptus saligna, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Eugenia brasiliensis, Eugenia uniflora, Eugenia involucrata, Hexachlamyx edulis, Marlierea tomentosa, Myrcia fenzliana, Myrciaria trunciflora, Psidium guajava, Psidium quineense, Psidium humile, Syzygium jambos, Syzygium malaccense, Platanus orientalis, Macadamia ternifolia, Punica granatum, Cydonia vulgaris, Eriobotrya japonica, Malus domestica, Malus sylvestris, Prunus amygdalus, Prunus armeniaca, Prunus domestica, Prunus persica, Pyrus communis, Pyrus sinensis, Coffea arabica, Salix viminalis, Luehea divaricata and Ulmus americana.Vasates quadripedes
Vasates quadripedes, the maple bladder-gall mite, is an eriophyid mite in the genus Vasates, which causes galls on the leaves of silver maple (Acer saccharinum), red maple (A. rubrum), and sugar maple (A. saccharum). The gall is rounded, sometimes elongate, and has a short, thin neck. Typically, galls are 2–3 millimetres (0.079–0.118 in) in diameter, and may be numerous on the upper surfaces of leaves. They have an opening in the lower surface. At first they are yellowish-green or bright red, later they become dark red and black.In Britain, the mite affects introduced silver maple. The species is relatively new to Britain, being first recorded in London in 2002.