Silver is definitely the right word to describe this maple. With even a light wind, the tree produces a lovely shimmery effect thanks to the silvery undersides of its leaves. The bark, too, is silver in color, particularly when the tree is young. But believe it or not, the lovely silvery nature of this tree is not its biggest draw.
Fast growth has become the name of the game in the world of landscaping, and the silver maple is a champ in this department. If you have the space to accommodate its large size and wide-spreading root system, you’ll be rewarded with quick shade.
Early settlers in the Ohio Valley found the sap from the silver maple to be superior to other maple trees for sugar quality, but production was too slow for commercial purposes. The trees were a staple in many new towns and homesteads on the frontier because of their rapid growth (for quick shade) and ability to adapt to a variety of soil conditions.