Striped Maple, Acer pensylvanicum Marsh.
Striped maple, sometimes called moosewood or moose maple,
is a small tree or large shrub identified by its conspicuous
vertical white stripes on greenish-brown bark. It is commonly
found growing as an understory tree in mixed hardwoods. This
very slow growing maple may live to be 100 and is probably
most important as a browse plant for wildlife, although the
tree is sometimes planted as an ornamental in heavily shaded
Species Description: Silvics of North American Hardwoods
Virginia Tech Dendrology Fact Sheet for Striped Maple
University of Connecticut Plant Database
Striped maple is a small tree, rarely growing more than 45
feet tall. It has a short, forked trunk with a few arching
branches which tends to form a broad, uneven crown which is
flat-topped, to rounded. When trees are young, the bark is
the most easily identified characteristic, because of its
green bark with distinct white stripes.
Leaves are arranged oppositely along the twigs, and leaves
have three lobes and small serrations along the leaf margin.
Leaves are often large, sometimes reaching 6 incheslong
and nearly as wide. The leaves are yellow-green above, a paler
green below, and turn pale yellow in autumn.
Striped maple flowers in May or June, and has clusters of
bright yellow, bell-shaped drooping flowers. Fruit is a winged
samara, ripening in autumn.
Striped maple is widely distributed throughout the northeast
US and adjacent Canada. It extends from Nova Scotia and the
Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, west to southern Ontario, Michigan
and parts on Minnesota; south to Ohio, Pennsylvania and New
Jersey, and down the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.
Striped maple is generally a common, but minor component of
the understory in a hardwood forests, as well as with spruce-fir
and mixed wood forest types. It is tolerant of shade, but
responds well to increased sunlight, and can out-compete other
more desirable species following cutting of overstory trees.
Striped maple is not considered a commercial species for lumber
and wood products, largely due to its small size. The tree
is, however, an important wildlife food source. The leaves,
buds and twigs and bark are eaten by a number of species,
from rabbits to moose.
The Handbook of Vermont Trees, Burns & Otis, Bulletin
194, VT Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Vermont,
Coladonato, Milo. 1993. Acer pensylvanicum. In: U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station,
Fire Sciences Laboratory, (2003, March). Fire Effects Information