Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Care for Silver Maple Trees

By Sarah Morse ; Updated September 21, 2017

Silver maple is a fast-growing tree that can reach over 100 feet tall and live more than 130 years. As a result of its easy establishment, most people grow the tree as an ornamental plant. Silver maple is hardy down to USDA zone 3--where the temperature does not drop below minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit--so can grow almost anywhere in the United States. Growing this tree is not difficult as long as you know how to create the right environment for the silver maple.

Plant the silver maple tree in full sun or part shade with rich, well-drained soil. It will survive on poor soils that occasionally flood but will not do well on tight, clay soils. The pH should lie between 4.5 and 7.0. More alkaline soil will promote chlorosis, which could eventually kill the plant.

Water the silver maple tree, keeping it moist until it establishes itself and starts to grow on its own. Once established silver maples can withstand both drought and flooding.

Fertilize the silver maple in early spring with a complete fertilizer. Use fertilizer containing ammonium sulfate to lower the pH if the alkalinity is too high. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions.

Prune the tree in winter or early spring when it is dormant. Cut out diseased, broken and dead branches. Also cut away branches to shape the tree allow air to flow through it. This will prevent extensive damage from storms.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Silver maple may grow multiple trunks that may require cabling to keep stable.

About the Author


Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.