This is not a mangrove. These buttressing root flairs do not perch above some inundated morass. This woebegone maple grows by the roadside between Kent and New Milford, CT and is either the worst example of arboreal malpractice or evidence of biological tenacity in the face of overwhelming bad luck.
I believe it is most likely that a maple seed pinwheeled to rest on a big pile of leaves or wood chips that decomposed out from under its thirsty roots. This may have taken a while, for an extensive root network now extends out from the tree from at least a yard above ground level. When I stopped to take these pictures, I could see the face of a white tailed deer in the underbrush beyond the tree looking back at me through the aerial roots.
The other side of the tree is a horror show of a different sort.
Damage like that was probably caused by a front end loader pushing piles of debris around (perhaps the vanished pile of wood chips. While evidence of appalling indifference and neglect, the fact that this tree has grown to this size, and continues to grow despite such insults, is truly astonishing. It makes me wonder whether it is a sugar maple or a Norway (an invasive species known for its ability to take root in sidewalk cracks). I will have to check next time I am in the neighborhood.