Silver Maple Trees

Acer saccharinum Silver Maple

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  • Zones:  3-9
  • Sun to Part Sun
  • Height:  80-100’
  • Spread:  40-60’
  • Shape:  Vase shaped
  • Growth Rate:  Fast
  • Soil Preference:  Adaptable, prefers acidic but will adapt to alkaline.  Moderate tolerance to salt.
  • Moisture:  Prefers moist, will tolerate flooding and will tolerate moderate drought.  Will adapt to dry.
  • Foliage:  Moderately dense with medium green leaves with silvery undersides.  Fall color is yellow, sometimes with some orange or red.
  • Blooms:  If present, red
  • Fruit:  If present, green winged seeds (called samara) in pairs, born after 11 years.
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A breeze blowing through a Silver Maple causes a striking effect, exposing the silvery underside of the leaves.  Although Silver Maple has in the past been commonly grown because of its’ adaptability to conditions and rapid growth, there are drawbacks.  The wood is weak, often damaged in storms.  Roots are aggressive, invading septic fields and heaving sidewalks, and surface roots causing mowing difficulties.  Silver Maple can also be a prolific seeder, sprouting many new trees.  The ‘Silver Queen’ is nearly seedless however.  Water sprouts are common, requiring frequent pruning to keep tidy.  There are few cultivars of Silver Maple, all have weak wood.  The Acer x freemanii hybrids are a better choice, being a cross between the Silver Maple and the Red Maple.  The Silver Maple may be best limited to flood plains, wetlands, and farm windbreaks.

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Acer saccharinum ‘Mareltoi’

Mareltoi may be the only seedless Silver Maple available.  It is slow growing and has distinctively split lacy leaves.  The wood of the ‘Mareltoi’ is much harder than most silver maples.  Mature height would be expected about one-third the height of most silver maples, could nearly be considered a dwarf.  Resistant to insects and blight.  Very cold hardy.

TreesSharon Dwyer