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Silver Maple

Acer saccharinum

Hardiness Zones: 3 - 9   View Map
  • Grows very quickly, providing shade earlier than most trees
  • Features 3–6" leaves with 5 lobes separated by notably deep, narrow sinuses; green on top and silvery underneath through spring and summer, they turn a pale yellow in the fall
  • Produces red, yellow, and silver clusters of small flowers in early spring
  • Yields pairs of winged seed over 3" long that ripen in late spring; they are the largest seeds of all native maples
  • Grows in a vase shape
  • Has a wide-spreading root system and a trunk that can become quite massive; it is best to plant the tree away from sidewalks, foundations, and sewer lines
  • Can be prone to limb breakage

Tree Details



Growth Speed


Scientific Name

Acer saccharinum

Mature Height

50' - 80'

Mature Spread

35' - 50'

Shipping Height

3' - 4'


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.

Sun Preference

Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade

Soil Preference

Acidic, Drought, Moist

Wildlife Value

The silver maple’s buds are eaten by squirrels in early spring. It also provides nesting sites for ducks and other birds. Beavers find the trees delicious.


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.

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