Bigleaf, or broadleaf, maple is the largest maple in the Pacific Northwest. The tree's magnificent leaves, which may be a foot or more in diameter, make identification easy. Perhaps more beautiful though is the arching form of bigleaf maple branches. Deep in the moist forests of the region, the tree's branches become densely covered with a variety of hanging mosses. These hanging gardens alone make worthwhile a trip to the temperate rainforest of the Pacific coast. Farther inland, and on drier sites, bigleaf maple develops a huge oval crown which begins just a few feet off the ground. In addition to casting a fine summer shade, the low branches on these trees have made them an historical favorite for the building of tree-houses.

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