Latin: Acer rubrum
Description - 30 m high, oval shaped with many branches ascending. Shallow, wide spreading root system.
Leaf - 3 - 5 lobes that are irregular shaped with shallow notches. Light green above and whitened on the under side. Leaves with red veins are red when unfolding in fall and are green for the rest of the season.
Bark - smooth silver grey when young and darker and scaling when mature. Scaly ridges are attached at the centre and loose at the ends.
Bud - very small, red brown or maroon. Small, blunt, and dark red in winter and bright red in spring.
Twig - fairly stout, shiny red to greyish-brown, flower buds in a ring twig.
Flower - flowers appear before leaves. Male and female flowers often of separate trees and always in separate clusters. Flowers smell sweet, produce nectar, and suggest insect pollination rather than wind pollination.
Fruit - a cluster of small keys.
Habitat - moist, sandy soil.
Wildlife Value - high food for browsers. The seeds and buds feed rodents, birds, and ducks.
Wood - soft maple is used in furniture, plywood, veneer, pulpwood, railway ties, boxes, and crates.