Acer pensylvanicum
Common name: 
Striped Maple
Moosewood Maple
A-ser pen-sil-VA-ni-kum
Sapindaceae, Aceraceae
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous small tree or large multistemmed shrub, 15-20 ft (4-6 m) high with a similar spread, short trunk with ascending branches, uneven, flat-topped to rounded crown.  Young stems are greenish brown or reddish, and branches green with conspicuous, long, vertical, greenish white stripes, which are absent on mature trunks.  Leaves opposite, simple, 12-20 cm long and wide, usually with 3 shallow lobes that point forward (occasionally unlobed, e.g., neoformed leaves), tip acuminate, margin serrulate, bright green, with petioles 3-8 cm long; fall color clear yellow to golden.  Flowers small, yellow to yellow-green, in slender, pendulous clusters (racemes).  Fruit about 1-2.5 cm wide, wings spread at a wide angle, on long stalks, 2.5 cm, (peduncles), in pendulous clusters.
  • Part shade.  Best in well-drained, cool, moist, acidic soil.  Has a shallow and wide spreading root system.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3      Native range from Nova Scotia to Minnesota and south to Georgia.
  • pensylvanicumof Pennsylvania, this "incorrect" spelling is the accepted name since it was originally used by Carl Linnaeus, who named this species.
  • Acer pensylvanicum is one of about 14 Acer species known as a Stripebark or Snakebark Maples (Section Macrantha).  It is the only Snakebark Maple native to North America, all the other are native to Asia.  Some of the more commonly available species include: A. capillipes, A. davidii, A. rufinerve and A. tegmentosum.
  • A few cultivars of Acer pensylvanicum exist, with ‘Erythrocladium’ being the best known.   Twig bark has a bright coral to salmon-red color in winter, turning dark yellow in summer.  Reportedly the bright red winter color does not diminish with age.  This selection was discovered in Germany before 1904, but it is rather rare in commerce in part because it is difficult to propagate.
Click image to enlarge
  • leaves and flower clusters, spring

    leaves and flower clusters, spring

  • plant habit, young tree

    plant habit, young tree

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leaf and fruit cluster

    leaf and fruit cluster

  • leaves, variation

    leaves, variation

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • winter buds

    winter buds