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Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), fam. Aceraceae.
Strongly differs from the rest of maple species by its early flowering. Just a few successive warm days in March (up to +5, +10 degrees) are enough for its inconspicuous but original (especially after boring winter) flowers to appear. On one branches, the male flowers (shown in photo 1-2) can be seen; on another – the female ones (reddish, with more compact shape). The trees bloom quite long, waiting through the almost inevitable cold weather changes. It is interesting – if someone try to grow this kind of maple in southern Ukraine regions – it should possibly suffer from… excess warmth: to flower in January, and then to be beaten by returning frosts.
This maple originates from North America, and its close relative is the Canadian Sugar Maple. After the flowering finishes, the leaves appear. They have analogous shape to common Norway Maple, but they are more elegant, having reddish-grey tint, and one silver side. In autumn, the first fallen leaves acquire the unique pattern where red color predominates; but alas, when it comes to most leaves falling, their color appears much duller.
Another weak feature of this maple species (same as for Boxelder maple) is fragility of branches. Summer thunderstorms with powerful gusts have been common during the last years in Kyiv. No wonder if they are also caused by specific city microclimate, the common feature of which is adjacency of sizzling hot asphalt and house roofs with wide cool woodland and water spaces – hance the temperature contrast and the atmospheric turbulence. As a result of these thunderstorms, a lot of maples have been even torn up with their roots.