Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) is the first of the maples to bloom in North America, beginning as early as February in the southern part of the range and extending into May in the north. Flowers bloom long before the leaves appear. The flowers on any given tree all open within a few days and the flowering period for any given locality is very short.
Individual trees tend to express their sex in four different manners:
- all male flowers
- all female flowers, but with rudimentary pistils
- mostly male with a few females
- mostly male with a few females and a scattering of hermaphroditic flowers
Because pollen is produced so early in spring, it may be important for bees and other pollen-dependent insects. Most references describe silver maple as wind pollinated, but insect pollination may be important, as many bees visit the flowers. Seeds develop rapidly. Within 24 hours after pollination flower parts become withered and ovaries begin to swell.