Monday, January 10, 2011

Do You Know Your Silver Maple?

It seems like the most simple question to those who might have a Silver Maple growing in their yard. 'Of course, planted it myself' one might say.  If you are generally fond of trees but haven't zeroed in on exactly what they are - here's one to discover.

In my years of travelling back and forth across Newfoundland I have been introduced to many Silver Maples growing in people's yards.  By the way, it isn't native to the province. It seems easy to identify - leaves with that characteristic maple shape and white or silver underside. When caught by a breeze it creates a flourish of green and white.  There is a catch: in many cases what people believe to be a Silver Maple is really a White Poplar.

Here are White Poplar leaves; it really is a nice tree and sure looks like a maple.  If you are  resident or visitor to the province you know it's family member very well.  White Poplars are in the same tree family as Trembling Aspens (Aps).  Neither are linked to the maple family.  Don't try to convince someone otherwise who knows this as a Silver Maple; they will not believe you!  :)

Now for the real thing. The Silver Maple does have the green/silver colouring.  It's real difference is dramatic: It has a classic maple leaf shape but with extreme deep valleys creating three distinct sections to the leaf.  It is a beautiful leaf and an amazing tree. 

Here it is:

Thanks for reading!

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