Meet the Maples: Silver Maple

In its native range, Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) grows mostly along rivers and streams. Where I live, in eastern Massachusetts, they are mostly found as planted trees near human habitation.  With leaves featuring deeply cut sinuses and silvery undersides, Silver Maple is notably different from both Sugar and Norway Maple.

Photo of Silver Maple leaf

Silver Maples flower in late winter or early spring, and seeds ripen and fall soon after. In my neighborhood, fresh seeds are eaten by squirrels and chipmunks.

The trees often have long hanging branches, which are vulnerable to storm damage. The bark of older trees is gray and splits into long strips.

Photo of Silver Maple bark

Next in this series will be the common maple of local swamps: Red Maple (Acer rubrum).

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