Native Plant of the Month: Big Leaf Maple

Photo of Big Leaf Maple.

Binomial name: Acer macrophyllum

Soil type: Fairly moist, well drained

Sunlight: Full sun to partly shady

Plant type: Single or multi-trunked tree

Foliage: Large Deciduous 5 lobed leaves

Fruit/Flower: Brown, double winged, seeded samara / small greenish - yellow cluster of flowers

Big leaf Maple is a dense shade tree that is seen throughout the western coastal range and native to Beaverton. They grow between 30 to 75 feet tall and spread from 30 to 50 feet wide. (Although currently the record held by a big leaf Maple is 88 feet tall in Marion, Oregon.) The leaves consist of 5 lobes 6 to 15 inches wide and reach around 24 inches long. Medium green in color the leaves turn a bright yellow color right before dropping in fall. The wood is very valuable in making stringed instruments like guitars, violins, and celli. This beautifully grained wood is also used for making pianos frames, furniture, paddles and gun stocks as well. 

This Native Plant of the Month has been brought to you by the City of Beaverton’s Landscape and Urban Forestry Department.