This soft maple is appropriately named, as its leaves (shown below) are the largest of any maple, commonly reaching an overall width of 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) across. Bigleaf Maple is a commercially important hardwood timber for the United States west coast, where it is virtually the only commercial maple species in the region.
Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Silver Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns.