Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Acer saccharinum

Leaves are simple, opposite, deciduous and deeply 5-lobed with V-shaped sinuses, doubly toothed margins, and a white-silvery underside. Flowers appear before leaves. Twigs are reddish-brown and leaf scars are V-shaped. Buds are blunt and brown-red and flower buds may be obvious. Bark breaks into gray, scaly plates. Fruit is a reddish-brown double samara. Form is up to 30 m (98 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Silver maple is found on mesic fertile sites such as river edges and bottomlands in the eastern U.S. The wood is used for pulpwood and boxes. Seeds are eaten by birds and small animals. This tree is often planted as a landscape tree but the limbs are brittle and the roots are shallow.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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