Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

North of the abandoned bus shelter on South College Drive Map

This lone sentinel towers over its sugar maple cousins at the eastern entrance to parking lot C. In the fall it may go unnoticed; whereas the sugar maple puts on a world-class display of color, Acer saccarinum produces leaves of a somewhat dingy yellow hue, occasionally tinged with red. During the spring and summer, however, it holds its own; silver maple leaves are large, shapely, and have a silverish-gray underside that is attractive. Its leaves are carried on long stems, which cause it to "tremble" in even a slight breeze.

Silver maple is a moderately important source of lumber, especially of "bird's-eye maple". Its sap can be cooked into maple syrup, although apparently not as profitably as in the case of sugar maple. Silver maple is native to eastern and central North America, but is widely planted elsewhere, including in Europe. Silver maples grow rapidly, prosper best with no competition from other trees, and can reach a height of well over 100 ft.