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Bigleaf Maple Acer macrophyllum


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Family: Aceraceae, Maple view all from this family

Description Large, long-lived deciduous tree. Crown varies with habitat. Branches massive, spreading. Leaves shiny, dark green, largest of any maple, 15-30 cm. across, with five deeply-incised palmate lobes, up to 61 cm. Flowers pendulous, racemes 10-15 cm. long, greenish-yellow with inconspicuous petals. Seed 1-1.5 cm. diameter with a 4-5 cm. wing.

Dimensions Height: 9-21 m. (30-70 ft.)
Diameter: 0.3-0.8 m. (1-2 1/2 ft.).

Habitat Canyons & valleys, Watersides (fresh).

Range California, Northwest, Western Canada.

Discussion The only commercially important maple of the Pacific Coast region. Used as furniture, piano frames, salad bowls, veneer, stringed instruments and guitar bodies.

Seeds, buds, and flowers of bigleaf maple provide food for numerous
birds and small mammals including mice, woodrats, squirrels, chipmunks,
finches, and grosbeaks. Squirrels and chipmunks eat the seeds,
frequently caching them after removing the hull and wing. Seeds
which hang on the tree during fall and winter provide nutritious food
for finches, grosbeaks, and the Douglas squirrel. Seeds on the
ground and young seedlings are eaten by rodents. Rodents eat the roots
or pull entire seedlings into burrows. Numerous birds use leaves and seed stalks for nest building.