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Acer saccharinum

Acer saccharinum - silver maple

Silver maple is the fastest-growing of the North American maples and in its native habitat can grow a metre a year in suitable places. It develops into a large broad-crowned tree with beautiful palmate leaves which flutter in wind to show their silvery reverse. Autumn colour is usually yellow. 

Silver maple is used worldwide in landscaping. In Finland it has been grown for over a century but for some reason its use is not widespread. At Mustila some old trees can be found at the lower edge of Pähkinärinne (Hazelnut slope). In the stiff and sometimes dry clay there they have remained rather small, but in sufficiently rich and moist soil Silver maple can grow as large as native broadleaf species. 

Seeds received at Mustila in the 2000s are from trees at the northernmost limit of their natural range, and it is hoped that the range of the species in Finland can be extended northwards. 

Like sugar maple (A. saccharum), the sap from silver maple can be used to produce genuine maple syrup. If tapped at the right time in spring, the best trees produce a sugar-content of about 5%; this sap can also be drunk as it is, or used in making mead.‍

 

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