bigleaf maple Aceraceae Acer
|Leaf: Opposite, simple, deciduous, 6 to 12 inches in diameter, but sometimes larger; palmately lobed with 5 deep lobes, terminal lobe has a distinct waist; dark green above and lighter green below. Petiole exudes a milky sap.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small yellow flowers borne in long racemes; may be perfect or imperfect.
Fruit: Double samaras with wings 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, wings occur at acute angle, seed head hairy, seeds tan when ripe.
Twig: Stout, smooth, round, and pale green, turning bright green or red, then grayish brown; buds opposite, terminal bud large, stout, with 3 or 4 greenish red scales.
Bark: When young it is smooth and grayish brown, later becoming darker brown with interlacing ridges and furrows.
Form: A large tree, commonly 40 to 100 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet in diameter. In the open, it branches low to the ground and forms a rounded crown; in dense stands it grows taller and straighter. Commonly sprouts from the base and forms large basal burls.
Looks like: sugar maple
- vine maple
- Rocky Mountain maple
- California sycamore
| Additional Range Information:
Acer macrophyllum is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting bigleaf maple.
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson