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Big Leaf Maple
Acer macrophyllum
About Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) Nurseries Show All Photos Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf Maple or Oregon Maple) is a large deciduous tree. It grows to be up to 35 meters tall, but more commonly 15-20 meters tall. The trunk can get up to a meter in diameter. It is native to western North America, mostly near the Pacific coast, from southernmost Alaska south to southern California. Some stands are also found inland in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California, and a tiny population occurs in central Idaho. It is winter deciduous, featuring large palmate leaves typical of maples. It produces nice fall color where temperatures become cold enough. It is very fast growing but may be too large for most residential gardens.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
30 - 114.8 ft (9.1 - 35 m)

Max. Width
65 ft (19.8 m)

Upright, Rounded, Upright Columnar

Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Yellow, Pink

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Streambanks and canyons where it will receive abundant moisture. Adjacent to chaparral, grassland, woodland or pine forest

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
3' - 8910'

Annual Precip. ?
5.8" - 133.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.51"

Coldest Month ?
29.4° F - 58.4° F

Hottest Month ?
47.3° F - 87.1° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 37.68 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers clay or loamy soil, tolerates sandy soil

Soil PH
5.5 - 7.5

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
moderately easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Rarely Used

Max. Summer Water ?
Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 1.5-2 mos. stratification; use fresh seeds.

Common uses
Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Bigleaf Maple

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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