|Big Leaf Maple (Acer Macrophyllum)|
Big Leaf Maples:
Big Leaf Maple in a riparian habitat.
Newly formed two winged "keys" coming from a drooping flower stalk.
Photographer: Charles Webber
The deep palmately arranged lobes of the Maple leaf.
Photographer: Brother Alfred Brousseau
Where are they found?
Big Leaf Maples are found along the Pacific Coast west of the Sierras. They can be found as far north as British Colombia and as far south as Southern California. They are limited by cold temperatures to the north and limited humidity and moisture to the south.
If you find a group of this tree, also look for:
old growth temperate rainforst:
or mixed deciduous/coniferous riparian forests:
Big Leaf Maple plays many roles in the succession of forest environments. In low elevations along rivers it was found living in environments most recently produced by river erosion, but in interior valleys in Oregon it was found to be a late or even climax species along with Douglas Fir.
Big Leaf Maple trees are abundant "shoot growers". These young sprouts provide good browse for mule deer and black-tailed deer. Some rodents have been known to pull small seedlings down directly into burrows from below. These trees also provide forage in the form of seeds which feed many species including: squirrels, chipmunks, finches and grosbeaks. Several species of small birds nest in these trees.
Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)