and Deciduous Forest Trees
   of Southern Ontario

Silver Maple
Acer Saccharinum

Location in Ontario:
Silver Maple grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward.

Large Silver Maples in spring at St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre, Norfolk County. The spring colours for 2012 were unusually red.

Genus Acer: Maple trees have simple, lobed leaves that are opposite. They are known for their beautiful fall colours. Maples are monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Seeds are in double-winged samaras, or keys. Sugar Maple, Black Maple, Red Maple, Silver Maple and the hybrid Freeman's Maple all grow in Ontario. Sugar Maples are used to make maple syrup, and the wood is valued for cabinets, flooring and furniture.

TREE FACT: Maple trees are divided into "hard" maples (Sugar and Black) and "soft" maples (Silver, Red and Freeman's).

Habitat: Silver Maple grows on moist soil along streams and swamps.

Landscape Use: Silver Maple was once a preferred landscape tree for its fast growth, beautiful leaves and large canopy. It fell out of favour due to its weak branches susceptible to wind, and shallow wide-spreading roots.

Silver Maple leaves have 5-7 pointed lobes. They are light green above and silvery underneath.

Silver Maple leaves are silvery beneath

FALL COLOUR WATCH:  yellow, deep gold or red

Flowers: Silver Maple is monoecious with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers on the same tree. Flowers appear in very early spring; the earliest flowers to appear!

Fruit: A single Maple seed is contained in a key; a doubly-winged samara. Maple keys twirl to the ground, dispersed by wind and water. Keys drop in the spring. Silver Maples produce yearly fruit after 10 years of growth.

Keys of Silver Maple

Bark: The bark is gray with long, thin flakes.

This is a large tree, up to 35 metres.

Wood: Silver Maple has soft wood, and is sold collectively with Red Maple as "Soft" Maple.
Specific gravity: 0.47
Janka Hardness: 700 lb

Wood Comparison Chart

Large spreading Silver Maple, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre