SPECIES ID / Riparian Plants – Tree

Big leaf maple


Acer macrophylum


Category: pioneer
Height: 30.0 m
Flowers: Small, yellow, in long cylindrical clusters
Berries: Winged seeds
Moisture: medium-dry
Shade: intolerant
Beaver Protection Required: yes
Habitat Notes:

Identification Tips:

• Large deciduous tree with opposite branching and leaves; often multi-stemmed
• Leaves large (15-30 cm across), maple shaped with 5 lobes; dark green above and paler below
• Young bark green and smooth; older bark grey-brown, ridged and often covered in moss
• Small yellowish flowers in long, hanging clusters appear in spring with or before leaves
• Seeds with distinctive 'wings'

Restoration Notes:

• Mature trees provide dense shade
• Large trees in moist forests support hanging gardens of moss, licorice fern and other 'epiphytes' (plants that grow on other plants)

• Sprout readily from stumps; we try to dig maple stumps into moist soil to encourage resprouting when we receive them in loads of wood imported for construction of habitat