Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist soils, but shows somewhat surprising tolerance for poor dry soils.
Description : y
Acer saccharinum commonly known as silver maple gets its name from the silvery undersides of its leaves. It is typically growing to 50-80’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with a rounded open spreading crown. It is native to eastern and central North America where it typically occurs in moist to wet, sometimes mucky, often poorly drained soils on floodplains, along the edges of streams and rivers and in low woods. It is a fast-growing, somewhat graceful tree that formerly was a very popular urban landscape selection for lawns and streets, but has more recently fallen somewhat out of favor because of the proclivity of its weak-wooded limbs to split when stressed by high winds or ice/snow. Polygamous greenish yellowflowers bloom in clusters in early spring (March) before the foliage. Flowers give way to paired samaras (to 2” long) that mature in late spring. Bark is gray to brownish gray. Mature tree trunks and limbs develop a shaggy appearance as the bark develops long thin flaky scales that exfoliate at the ends. Deeply 5-lobed light green leaves (to 6” across) have silvery undersides. Fall color is usually unremarkable. Tree sap is sweet, hence the species name which comes from the Latin word for sugar, but syrups made therefrom are greatly inferior to those made from sugar maple (Acersaccharum).
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to verticillium wilt, anthracnose and canker. Also susceptible to scale and borers. As with many fast growing trees, silver maple has weak brittle branches that are susceptible to breaking in high winds or when coated with ice/snow in winter.
A beautiful large landscape tree. Weak wood is a concern. Perhaps best sited in areas of poor soil or low wet conditions where other stronger wooded trees will not grow.