Acer saccharinum (USA)

 
 

Acer saccharinum
, commonly known as silver maple,[2] creek maple, silverleaf maple,[2] soft maple,[2] water maple,[2] swamp maple,[2] or white maple[2]—is a species of maple native to eastern North America in the eastern United States and Canada. It is one of the most common trees in the United States.
 
The silver maple is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree, commonly reaching a height of 15–25 m (50–80 ft), exceptionally 35 m (115 ft). Its spread will generally be 11–15 m (35–50 ft) wide. A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 8 m (25 ft) tall. It is often found along waterways and in wetlands, leading to the colloquial name "water maple". It is a highly adaptable tree, although it has higher sunlight requirements than other maples.
 
The leaves are palmate, 8–16 cm long and 6–12 cm broad, with deep angular notches between the five lobes. The 5–12 cm long, slender stalks of the leaves mean that even a light breeze can produce a striking effect as the downy silver undersides of the leaves are exposed. The autumn color is less pronounced than in many maples, generally ending up a pale yellow, although some specimens can produce a more brilliant yellow and even orange and red colorations. The tree has a tendency to color and drop its leaves slightly earlier in autumn than other maples.

The flowers are in dense clusters, produced before the leaves in early spring,[3] with the seeds maturing in early summer. The fruit are samaras, each containing a single seed, and winged, in pairs, small (5–10 mm diameter), the wing about 3–5 cm long. The fruit are the largest of any native maple. Although the wings provide for some transport by air, the fruit are heavy and are also transported by water. Silver Maple and its close cousin Red Maple are the only Acer species which produce their fruit crop in spring instead of fall. The seeds of both trees have no epigeal dormancy and will germinate immediately.

On mature trunks, the bark is gray and shaggy. On branches and young trunks, the bark is smooth and silvery gray.

(from Wikipedia on 22.1.14)

 
 
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Acer saccharinum, photographed from California
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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