Acer macrophyllum, commonly known as the bigleaf maple, is a species of maple native to the Pacific Northwest region of North America, from southern Alaska to California.
Some key characteristics of Acer macrophyllum include:
- It is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall, although it is usually smaller.
- The leaves are large, typically measuring 6 to 12 inches across, and are deeply lobed with five to seven lobes.
- The bark is grayish-brown and smooth when the tree is young, but becomes rough and furrowed with age.
- The tree produces small, inconspicuous flowers in the spring, which are followed by winged samaras (also known as "helicopter seeds") in the summer.
Acer macrophyllum is an important species in the Pacific Northwest ecosystem, providing food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including black bears, elk, and many bird species. It is also valued for its timber, which is used for furniture, veneer, and other woodworking projects. The sap of the tree can be boiled down to make maple syrup, although the sugar content is lower than that of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum), which is the primary species used for maple syrup production.