Big-leaf maple is a large forest tree that reaches heights of 90 ft. or more. It abundantly self-seeds throughout our region.
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.
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.
Inflorescence racemose with male and female flowers on the same plant; numerous on short stalks, appearing with or before the leaves; petals greenish-white,
Winged, in pairs, 3-6 cm long, yellowish-brown, hairy, pairs attached in a V-shape.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Summer to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|CDF(180), CWH(403), IDF(26)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
TAXONOMIC KEY TO ACER
1. Leaves pinnately compound; petals absent ..........A. negundo
2. Flowers 10-50; inflorescence racemose or in panicles; trees up to 30 m tall.
3. Leaves grey, white or purplish below, the stalks without milky juice when cut; inflorescence in long, hanging panicles; fruits glabrous ..........A. pseudoplatanus
4. Leaves lobed beyond the middle, the tips abruptly sharp-pointed; inflorescence racemose; fruits hairy ..........A. macrophyllum
2. Flowers usually less than 10; inflorescence umbellate or corymbose; plants usually shrublike and less than 10 m tall.
5. Leaves 3- to 5-lobed, glabrous to sparsely glandular short-hairy; sepals green.......... A. glabrum