|Big Leaf Maple|
|All photos with blue borders expand if clicked|
|Note the bugs. This is an enlargement of a portion of the photo immediately above.|
|Wing sructure of seeds growing out of flower|
The big leaf maple from a foresters point of view is a real nuisance tree in the lower elevations of the Oregon Coast range. It grows prolifically and is difficult to kill. If you saw it down or chop it down, the stumps just sprout out and it grows out with a dozen sprouts instead of a single trunk. It is generally unwanted even for pulp wood. It is particularly troublesome to utilities trying to maintain wire clearance, because it will grow 10 feet a year and trimming it seems to stimulate growth which heads straight for the open spot. They seem to thrive the best at lower elevations, but grow at higher elevations as well.
The flower cluster comes out of the same bud as the first leaves, and as shown on the right the flowers are fully out before the first leaves are open. This is fairly early in the spring not long after the flowering currants are in full bloom, and concurrent with the Indian plumb, but a week or to later.
This maple will grow into a substantial tree, but if cut back will branch out into a bushy shrub. It grows so prolifically that it is difficult to kill out. Sawing it to the ground usually won't kill the stump which will send out numerous shoots. It is often regarded as weed tree because of its prolific growth and lack of economic value.
Additional information: see Wikpedia - Bigleaf Maple