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Don Minore and John C. Zasada
Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), also called broadleaf maple or Oregon maple, is one of the few commercial hardwood tree species on the Pacific Coast. It is small compared with its conifer associates. Most mature bigleaf maples are about 15 m (50 ft) tall and 50 cm (20 in) in d.b.h. (5). Large trees often reach heights of 30 m (100 ft) and diameters of 90 to 120 cm (36 to 48 in). True to its common name, bigleaf maple usually bears leaves up to 30.5 cm (12 in) across, and exceptionally large leaves may attain widths of 61 cm (24 in) (2). They are borne on rounded crowns supported by short, branching boles if open-grown, but trees growing in dense stands are often well formed and free of branches for half to two-thirds of their height. Bigleaf maple is an excellent shade tree. The wood is used for furniture, especially piano frames, and the sap can be made into syrup.