E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Acer macrophyllum Pursh
bigleaf maple (Oregon maple)
Sapindaceae (Horse-chestnut family)
(Previously in Aceraceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Tom Duralia  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7565)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Acer macrophyllum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
New! Click on the map dots to view record details.

Introduction

Big-leaf maple is a large forest tree that reaches heights of 90 ft. or more. It abundantly self-seeds throughout our region.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.



General:
Large, deciduous, spreading tree up to 30 m tall; branches greenish barked, smooth; older bark greyish-brown, ridged and often covered with lichens and mosses.
Leaves:
Opposite, 10-30 cm wide, deeply 5-lobed, tips abruptly sharp-pointed, dark green above and paler green below, turning yellow in fall, stalks with milky juice when cut.
Flowers:
Inflorescence racemose with male and female flowers on the same plant; numerous on short stalks, appearing with or before the leaves; petals greenish-white,
Fruits:
Winged, in pairs, 3-6 cm long, yellowish-brown, hairy, pairs attached in a V-shape.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Yellow
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic forests and open slopes in the lowland and montane zones; common in SW BC west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to CA, disjunct in ID.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Acer macrophyllum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 0 156 880
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 194
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 138 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
D
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
645
Modal BEC Zone Class
CWH
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(180), CWH(403), IDF(26)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American deciduous broadĀ­leaved tree distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils (Moder and Mull humus forms). Its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation, latitude, and continentality. Common in pure or mixed-species stands (usually with red alder or black cottonwood) on alluvial, seepage, and stream-edge sites; occasional on water-shedding sites; dominant in primary succession on fragmental colluvial soils. This fast -growing tree regenerates abundantly from stump sprouts in clearings, thus hindering regeneration and growth of conifers. Its calcium-rich bark supports well developed corticolous moss communities. Characteristic of young-seral forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References