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Common Name:

Silver Maple

Scientific Name:

Acer saccharinum

Family Name:



Silver Maple is a deciduous tree used to rapidly provide shade in new developments. An upright rounded crown of swooping branches develops over time. Branch structure is weak and easily damaged in storms. The white-gray to silver backed foliage is attractive fluttering in breezes. The species will tolerate a range of soil and environmental conditions, but is typically a useful landscape plant only in eastern portions of Texas. Better trees are available for most locations.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

Yellow-green to gray-green

Blooming Period:

Spring, winter

Fruit Characteristics:

Pairs of winged samaras with membranous wings


40 ft to 50 ft in Texas landscapes, larger in the wild


30 ft to 40 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Low Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Susceptible to infestation by a number of insects and diseases; lots of surface roots; casts dense shade; not as prone to chlorosis on neutral soils as Acer rubrum, but still develops chlorosis on high pH soils.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.