Acer saccharinum (creek maple, river maple, silverleaf maple, soft maple, water maple, white maple)

description: deciduous tree

place of origin: eastern North America

urban habitat: commonly found near streams and rivers; thrives in full sun; tolerant of compacted soil and roadway salt.

ecological function: heat reduction in paved areas; food and habitat for wildlife; stream bank stabilization; nutrient absorption in wetlands.

history: A fast growing, tall tree Acer saccharinum was once commonly planted as a street tree. A number of Native American tribes utilized the bark of this tree to treat coughs, venereal disease, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, used it as a diuretic and consumed its sap as a sweetener. Its bark was also used to make back dye used in tanning leather. Its wood was used to make furniture, baskets, and arrows.