bigleaf maple
Acer macrophyllum

Bigleaf maple, with a range from California to British Columbia, is one of the few commercial hardwoods native to the Pacific coast. Though not as desirable for wood products as many of its coniferous associates, bigleaf maple is used for specialty products. It also make a fine shade tree with beautiful fall color and provides quality firewood.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Bigleaf maple is used for veneer, furniture, flooring, interior paneling, and musical instruments, especially piano frames.


Wildlife Value
      Deer and elk browse twigs and foliage. Seeds, buds, and flowers are eaten by numerous small mammals and birds.
          Attracts: mice, woodrats, squirrels, chipmunks, beavers, deer, elk, finches, grosbeaks

Regeneration methods
      A vigorous stump-sprouter, bigleaf maple competes heavily with more preferred species, especially Douglas-fir, and it often managed as a weed. Deliberate regeneration of bigleaf maple is uncommon. If bigleaf maple is present, it will likely out-compete its associates.

Fun facts
Bigleaf maple is the largest of all the maples. Large basal burls are sliced into beautiful veneer for furniture. The sap can be made into maple syrup, but because of its lower sugar content than sugar maple it takes much more sap to create syrup.
Acer: Latin name - sharp (leaves or used as lances) or Celtic "ac" (hard) / macrophyllum: large leaf
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu