Photographer: E. M. Barrows
Identifier: E. M. Barrows
Collector: not applicable
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Keywords: A Forest Ecology information sheet red flower Silver Maple swamp forest tree
Acer saccharinum Linnaeus, Plaine Blanche, Silver Maple, River Maple, White Maple (updated 2000 07 14, 2000 10 24, 2002 08 10)
[Latin saccharinum, sugary]
(Sutton & Sutton 1985 plates 119, 179; Petrides 1988, plate 11; Kricher & Morrison 1998, 180, 228)
FE required name(s): Acer saccharinum, Silver Maple
Please see “Information Sheet, Maples.”
AS is native to river banks and bottomlands, from New Brunswick through Ontario and MN, southern beyond the U.S.–Mexican border.
Identification by leaves: please see “Information Sheet, Maples” and “Information Sheet, Red Maple.”
General roles in forests.
ASs are autotrophs that generally live in forests (often in flood-plain forests, e.g., along the Potomac River), forest edges, successional areas, and yards.
Many kinds of organisms consume dead and living AS fruits, leaves, roots, and stems.
Specific roles in forests.
ASs often have hollow trunks (Farrar 1995).
Raccoons, squirrels, and other mammals den in these trunks; Wood Ducks and other birds nest in them.
We often use AS as a street or yard tree due to its beauty and rapid growth, but it's form is not always pleasing, and it is brittle and easily broken by storms.
Its larger branches and trunks are prone to develop weakening cavities.
Its abundant spring fruit increases yard work.
AS has several horticultural varieties, including ones with deeply-lobed leaves that are frequently planted. Some people tap AS sap to make maple syrup, but the yield is low.
We use AS wood for boxes, cheap furniture, crates, flooring, millwork, novelties, pulpwood, railroad ties, spools, and small wooden articles (Grimm 1957, 283).
Barbara Jean Smith (wife of Donald Hertzberg) carved a large wooden sculpture from the trunk of a large Silver Maple with once grew in the vicinity of New South, GU.
The plaque by the sculpture near the front door of Yates Recreation Center reads:
THIS TWO-CENTURY-OLD SILVER MAPLE
GAVE WAY TO YOU,
GEORGETOWN STUDENTS, AND FOR YOU IT WILL LIVE ON
Commissioned by the University President Timothy Healy, S.J.
in 1979, and dedicated to the memory of
Vice-president and Dean of th Graduate School
Donald Hertzberg, this two-ton abstract female
figure was sculpted by hand over a three-
year period by Barbara Jean Smith.