Red Maple vs Silver Maple – What’s the difference?

Maple trees are one of the most common and usually grown trees, especially in the Northern American region. Maples are known for their varied species and unique characteristics that yield essential woods and beautiful flowers, seeds, and twigs. Among the different species, red maple and silver maple are the most common ones known to a larger audience.

Red Maple vs Silver Maple – Difference

Red maple and silver maple are both known to be related and bear similar buds. However, they are different from one another and have unique characteristics that make them special in their own way. The difference can mainly be seen in their unique leaves and growth habit. Silver maple is a more fast-growing tree than red maple and has a shorter trunk. Silver maple is also known to be larger than red maples, and it grows about 50-70 feet in height, while red maples grow something about 25-45 feet in height. Further, silver maple leaves are wider and have five lobes, unlike red maple that have shallower lobes.

These are the main differences between the two. Now, let us look into some more differences and characteristics of the red and silver maple.

Red maple

Red maple is one of the most common and popular maples found in northern America. Red maple is known for its deep and featured red flowers, seeds, and extraordinarily beautiful twigs, especially seen in the autumn season. They are relatively smaller in height and grow up to 25 to 45 feet.

The red maple leaves are less wide and are smaller compared to silver maple with shallower lobes. And the color of the new leaves acquires a red and whitish undertone. Further, red maples can grow multiple trunks and grow straight but have a single trunk growth habit. They also bear fruits that are red in color and are V-shaped.

The young barks of red maples are of light gray color and are very smooth. They gradually, with age, become dark, scaly, and rigid. Since red maples have good tolerance towards wet soils and pollution, they are often seen planted in urban environments.

Also, red maple is a good choice for parks and gardens where there is a huge area with a large space for its root system.

Silver maple

Silver maple, on the other hand, is also a common maple tree. However, it is more fast-growing than red maples and is large deciduous trees. Silver maples yield red flowers during the spring season and leaves of deeply notched green and silver color, which turn yellow during the fall. They are larger in size than red maples and grow up to a height of 50 to 70 feet.

The silver maple leaves are wide and have five lobes. The new leaves of silver maple are silver-white in color, unlike red maple leaves. Further, silver maples usually have short and multi-trunk growth habits, and their slender drooping branches are also sharply crowned.

The barks of the silver maple are silvery-gray in color, and with age, they turn flaky. Silver maple is very commonly used for making syrup in areas where sugar maple has not been sweetened. It is also a very good choice for crafting and is inexpensive.

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