Silver Maple Tree

The Silver Maple is a rapidly growing tree and, like the Red Maple, is able to thrive in a wide variety of soils and climates. When the twig is scraped or broken, a strong foul odor can be detected.

Silver Maples can be identified based on the following characteristics:


The Silver Maple grows to 70 – 100 feet tall. This tree has brittle wood and is commonly damaged in storms. Lifespan of 130 – 150 years.


Eastern North America. Found in only extreme Southeastern Canada, but grows in eastern United States south to Georgia and west to Kansas.


The bark on young trees is grey with a reddish tint. On mature trees, the long thin scaly plates produce a shaggy appearance. The color is reddish brown.


The leaf is 5 – 7 inches wide, with 5 lobes. The margins of the leaf contain fine teeth. The mature leaves are pale green with a silvery white underside (hence the name Silver Maple).

Twig / Bud

Similar to the Red Maple. When the twig is broken, a foul smell can be detected. Winter buds are slightly larger than the Red Maple.


The double- winged fruit develops in clusters, and is 1 ½ – 2 inches long. Often one of the seeds is underdeveloped. The fruit matures in the spring.

Content on this page is reproduced with permission from the Cornell Maple Program and Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.