Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use. Seeds - cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot. Good crops are produced nearly every year in the wild. The seed is about 12mm long and is produced in small clusters.Inner bark - cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.
A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings. The branches are rather brittle, however, and can break off even in minor storms. The stems are used in making baskets. The boiled inner bark yields a brown dye. Mixed with lead sulphate this produces a blue/black dye which can also be used as an ink. A black dye is obtained from the twigs and bark. The bark can be boiled, along with hemlock (Tsuga spp]) and swamp oak bark (Quercus bicolor) to make a wash to remove rust from iron and steel, and to prevent further rusting.Wood - rather brittle, close-grained, hard, strong, easily worked but not durable. It weighs 32lb per cubic metre. It has many uses such as veneer, cooperage, furniture, flooring and pulp.
Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus.Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 - 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter.
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A very ornamental and fast growing tree, but it is short-lived, seldom surviving longer than 125 - 140 years. The tree has invasive roots and these often interfere with sewer pipes and drainage tiles around houses.The silver maple is a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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