Acer saccharinum and Quercus rubra

We are not quite to the season where you will see these, but it will be here before you know it.  The flowers of trees are as unique at the trees themselves.  Below are the flowers of a silver maple (Acer saccharinum) found in my front yard.  I could stand underneath this tree all day, staring up at the new appendages appearing from the end of these seemingly dead branch.  It would be so easy to miss these driving by, or looking down at your phone while on the sidewalk.

Maple, flowers

Silver maple in spring

Silver Maple

Take some time this Spring to look up into the branches of trees as you go about your day.  Which ones do you think you’ll see first?  Do you find yourself able to tell what kind of tree one is from a distance due to its unique look?

For a reference, here is a photo of a red oak (Quercus rubra).  Do you notice the difference between its bark and that of the Acer saccharinum above?

Hint: Look at the texture of the bark.  Also, do you notice a color pattern?

Red Oak

Another way to tell the two trees apart is that the maple trees have limbs that grow opposite each other while the oak don’t.

Oak limbs

Which trees have opposite branching? Remember – MAD Buck

M – Maple

A – Ash

D – Dogwook

Buck – Buckeye

There are a few other shrubs/small trees with opposite branching, though for the context of this post I am referring to larger trees.