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
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
=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
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.
ROCK MAPLE. SUGAR MAPLE. HARD MAPLE. SUGAR TREE.
=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.