silver maple Aceraceae Acer saccharinum
Leaf:Opposite, simple with 5 deeply palmate sinuses, lobe margins coarsely serrate, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long; light green above, pale, silvery white below.
Flower:Species is monoecious; greenish to reddish flowers appear in dense clusters in early spring long before leaves.
Fruit:Samara, largest of any native maple, divergent wings 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, germinate as soon as released, mature in late spring.
Twig:Similar to red maple but stouter and often more chestnut-brown in color, unpleasant odor when crushed; buds reddish brown with large scales, flower buds often in conspicuous dense clusters.
Bark:Light gray and smooth when young, when older breaks up into long thin strips, loose at ends. Similar to red maple but coarser.
Form:Can become quite a large tree reaching over 100 feet tall, trunk usually short, dividing into several subtrunks. Long slender branches sweep downward and then curve gracefully upwards.