Silver Maple Soft Maple White Maple River Maple

=Habitat and Range.=--Along streams, in rich intervale lands, and in

moist, deep-soiled forests, but not in swamps.

Infrequent from New Brunswick to Ottawa, abundant from Ottawa

throughout Ontario.

Occasional throughout the New England states; most common and best

developed upon the banks of rivers and lakes at low altitudes.

South to the Gulf states; west to Dak
ta, Nebraska, Kansas, and

Indian territory; attaining its maximum size in the basins of the

Ohio and its tributaries; rare towards the seacoast throughout the

whole range.

=Habit.=--A handsome tree, 50-60 feet in height; trunk 2-5 feet in

diameter, separating a few feet from the ground into several large,

slightly diverging branches. These, naked for some distance, repeatedly

subdivide at wider angles, forming a very wide head, much broader near

the top. The ultimate branches are long and slender, often forming on

the lower limbs a pendulous fringe sometimes reaching to the ground.

Distinguished in winter by its characteristic graceful outlines, and by

its flower-buds conspicuously scattered along the tips of the

branchlets; in summer by the silvery-white under-surface of its deeply

cut leaves. It is among the first of the New England trees to blossom,

preceding the red maple by one to three weeks.

=Bark.=--Bark of trunk smooth and gray in young trees, becoming with age

rougher and darker, more or less ridged, separating into thin, loose

scales; young shoots chestnut-colored in autumn, smooth, polished,

profusely marked with light dots.

=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Flower-buds clustered near the ends of the

branchlets, conspicuous in winter; scales imbricated, convex, polished,

reddish, with ciliate margins; leaf-buds more slender, about 1/8 inch

long, with similar scales, the inner lengthening, falling as the leaf

expands. Leaves simple, opposite, 3-5 inches long, of varying width,

light green above, silvery-white beneath, turning yellow in autumn;

lobes 3, or more usually 5, deeply cut, sharp-toothed, sharp-pointed,

more or less sublobed; sinuses deep, narrow, with concave sides; base

sub-heart-shaped or truncate; stems long.

=Inflorescence.=--March to April. Much preceding the leaves; from short

branchlets of the previous year, in simple, crowded umbels; flowers

rarely perfect, the sterile and fertile sometimes on the same tree and

sometimes on different trees, generally in separate clusters,

yellowish-green or sometimes pinkish; calyx 5-notched, wholly included

in bud-scales; petals none; sterile flowers long, stamens 3-7 much

exserted, filaments slender, ovary abortive or none: fertile flowers

broad, stamens about the length of calyx-tube, ovary woolly, with two

styles scarcely united at the base.

=Fruit.=--Fruit ripens in June, earliest of the New England maples. Keys

large, woolly when young, at length smooth, widely divergent,

scythe-shaped or straight, yellowish-green, one key often aborted.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in cultivation throughout New England. The

grace of its branches, the beauty of its foliage, and its rapid growth

make it a favorite ornamental tree. It attains its finest development

when planted by the margin of pond or stream where its roots can reach

water, but it grows well in any good soil. Easily transplanted, and more

readily obtainable at a low price than any other tree in general use for

street or ornamental purposes. The branches are easily broken by wind

and ice, and the roots fill the ground for a long distance and exhaust

its fertility.

1. Leaf-buds.

2. Flower-buds.

3. Branch with sterile flowers.

4. Branch with fertile flowers.

5. Branch with sterile and fertile flowers.

6. Sterile flower.

7. Fertile flower.

8. Perfect flower.

9. Fruiting branch.

=Acer Saccharum, Marsh.=

Acer saccharinum, Wang. Acer barbatum, Michx.


=Habitat and Range.=--Rich woods and cool, rocky slopes.

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, westward to Lake of the Woods.

New England,--abundant, distributed throughout the woods, often forming

in the northern portions extensive upland forests; attaining great size

in the mountainous portions of New Hampshire and Vermont, and in the

Connecticut river valley; less frequent toward the seacoast.

South to the Gulf states; west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and


=Habit.=--A noble tree, 50-90 feet in height; trunk 2-5 feet in

diameter, stout, erect, throwing out its primary branches at acute

angles; secondary branches straight, slender, nearly horizontal or

declining at the base, leaving the stem higher up at sharper and sharper

angles, repeatedly subdividing, forming a dense and rather stiff spray

of nearly uniform length; head symmetrical, varying greatly in shape; in

young trees often narrowly cylindrical, becoming pyramidal or broadly

egg-shaped with age; clothed with dense masses of foliage, purple-tinged

in spring, light green in summer, and gorgeous beyond all other trees of

the forest, with the possible exception of the red maple, in its

autumnal oranges, yellows, and reds.

=Bark.=--Bark of trunk and principal branches gray, very smooth, close

and firm in young trees, in old trees becoming deeply furrowed, often

cleaving up at one edge in long, thick, irregular plates; season's

shoots at length of a shining reddish-brown, smooth, numerously

pale-dotted, turning gray the third year.

=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds sharp-pointed, reddish-brown, minutely

pubescent, terminal 1/4 inch long, lateral 1/8 inch, appressed, the

inner scales lengthening with the growth of the shoot. Leaves simple,

opposite, 3-5 inches long, with a somewhat greater breadth, purplish and

more or less pubescent when opening, at maturity dark green above,

paler, with or without pubescence beneath, changing to brilliant reds

and yellows in autumn; lobes sometimes 3, usually 5, acuminate,

sparingly sinuate-toothed, with shallow, rounded sinuses; base

subcordate, truncate, or wedge-shaped; veins and veinlets conspicuous

beneath; leafstalks long, slender.

=Inflorescence.=--April 1-15. Appearing with the leaves in nearly

sessile clusters, from terminal and lateral buds; flowers

greenish-yellow, pendent on long thread-like, hairy stems; sterile and

fertile on the same or on different trees, usually in separate, but not

infrequently in the same cluster; the 5-lobed calyx cylindrical or

bell-shaped, hairy; petals none; stamens 6-8, in sterile flowers much

longer than the calyx, in fertile scarcely exserted; ovary smooth,

abortive in sterile flowers, in fertile surmounted by a single style

with two divergent, thread-like, stigmatic lobes.

=Fruit.=--Keys usually an inch or more in length, glabrous, wings broad,

mostly divergent, falling late in autumn.

=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England. Its long life,

noble proportions, beautiful foliage, dense shade, moderately rapid

growth, usual freedom from disease or insect disfigurement, and

adaptability to almost any soil not saturated with water make it a

favorite in cultivation; readily obtainable in nurseries, transplants

easily, recovers its vigor quickly, and has a nearly uniform habit of


=Note.=--Not liable to be taken for any other native maple, but

sometimes confounded with the cultivated Norway maple, Acer

platanoides, from which it is easily distinguished by the milky juice

which exudes from the broken petiole of the latter.

The leaves of the Norway maple are thinner, bright green and glabrous

beneath, and its keys diverge in a straight line.

1. Winter buds.

2. Flowering branch.

3. Sterile flower.

4. Fertile flower, part of perianth and stamens removed.

5. Fruiting branch.

=Acer saccharum, Marsh., var. nigrum, Britton.=

Acer nigrum, Michx. Acer saccharinum, var. nigrum, T. & G. Acer

barbatum, var. nigrum, Sarg.