Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 75-100 ft Width: 35-50 ft
Noted for: Fall color
Recommended Uses: Specimen tree. Frequently used as a street tree as tolerant of root disturbance. Fall color is yellow.
Considerations: Its prolific root system is notorious for invading and clogging leaky underground drainage and water lines. Susceptible to wind or ice damage due to its brittle wood.
Propagation: Can be grown from purchased saplings or from seed. Also softwood cuttings.
Availability: Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales
Salt Tolerance: Not salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, loam
Soil pH Range: Broadly tolerant
The buds of silver maple are important food for squirrel populations during late winter/early spring. Budburst comes during the critical late winter-spring period when stored food supplies of squirrels are exhausted.
Larval host for Cecropia silkmoth (Hyalophora cecropia)
Sudies in the northeast have shown the species to be important for wood ducks.
Important as a beaver food source in areas where it is common.
Native Habitats: Floodplains.
Distribution and Planting Zones
USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures
Suitable to grow in:
Ethnobotany: Sap could be used for sugaring, but it's only half as sweet as the sugar maple.
Other Comments: Fall foliage color is yellow. While used extensively as a street tree in the north, this fast growing species is relatively weak.