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Alphabetical List of Tree Common Names Alphabetical List of Tree Scientific Names Identification Key Mystery Tree

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Maple (Acer)


  • Leaves are simple, opposite and deciduous; palmately lobed and veined.

  • Fruit is a double samara that looks like a pair of airplane propellers.

  • Wood, especially burl wood, is highly valued.


Maples comprise one of the largest, most diverse, and most important groups of broadleaved trees in the world.  There are about 125 species of maples in the world, with most living in China and the Far East.  Maples are noted for their oppositely arranged and palmately lobed leaves, and their propellor-like seeds, called samaras.


Thirteen maples are native to North America; 3 are native to Oregon: 

bigleaf maple: leaves commonly 6"-12" in diameter (sometimes larger); samaras grow at right angles to one another and have fuzzy heads.

vine maple: leaves have 5-9 lobes and are generally 2"-4" in diameter; samaras grow at 180 degrees to one another and do not have fuzzy heads.

Rocky Mountain maple: leaves have 3 main lobes and are 2"-5" in diameter; samaras grow at right angles to one another and do not have fuzzy heads.


For more information on the ashes native to the Pacific Northwest, go to the species page or see "Trees to Know in Oregon".

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