Silver maple is a tall, fast-growing, native tree of eastern North America. It is usually found growing in open sunlight along creeks and waterways. This species has become over planted. Without proper and frequent pruning high winds and ice can cause limbs to break. Many authorities recommend against planting silver maple.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Occasional drought
- Wet sites
- Occasional flooding
- Clay soil
- Acid soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Wet soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
photo: John HagstromSize and Form
50 to 75 feet high and 35 to 50 feet wide; upright, irregular to rounded shape
Tree & Plant Care
Without proper and frequent pruning high winds and ice can cause limbs to break. Prune in summer.
Drought sensitive, provide supplemental water in dry periods.
Many authorities recommend against planting silver maple.
Disease, pests, and problems
May be weedy, spreading many seedlings in lawns and gardens. Weak wooded and is prone to storm damage.
Has a vigorous root system that can invade sewer pipes.
Verticillium wilt, anthracnose, tar spot, cottony maple scale, maple bladder gall
Native geographic location and habitat
Bark color and texture
Young bark is smooth and gray and develops long wide strips that turn upward at the ends as tree age.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, opposite leaves are dark green about 3 to 6 inches long; 5 lobed with silvery underside.
Green in summer; yellow-green in fall
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Inconspicuous; male and female on one plant, greenish yellow to red, without petals
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras), 2 inches long.