• bible sitting next to a teapot

    Whitman Mission

    National Historic Site Washington

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Silver maple

Silver maple behind the Visitor Center. In the photo at the top of the page a squirrel peaks out from the trunk of the tree.

NPS

Keep a look out for squirrels scurrying about the silver maple trees. The branches provide the squirrels with a place to live, and the buds are an important food source. In late winter, when the squirrels’ stored food has all been eaten, the buds of the silver maple are among the first to emerge—this provides the squirrels with a welcome meal.

Squirrels aren’t the only wildlife you’ll see around the silver maples. The dense foliage provides a home to many songbirds, and fallen leaves make a tasty snack for deer.

Humans make use of the silver maple, too. The sap of silver maples can be harvested and used for making maple syrup.

Look for silver maples behind the visitor center.

 
close-up of Silver Maple leaves
Silver maple leaves
NPS

Did You Know?

painting of mission with wagon in front

The Whitmans’ mission was important to early Oregon Trail travelers. Those who were sick, tired, or hungry or who needed a wagon fixed would make the side trip to the mission. Some would spend the winter with the Whitmans before continuing on to the Willamette Valley.