Home » Plants » Acer pensylvanicum

Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum)

Also known as moosewood, moose maple.

Page contents
Striped Maple

Summary

A small maple that grows as a large shrub to medium-sized tree. Highly shade-tolerant. Found in cool forests of the northeast and at higher elevations in the Appalachians.

Range - Expand

LegendColor
Native

This tentative map is based on the FHWA's ERA. This data lacks information on Canada, but also overestimates native ranges, especially around the edges, as this post explains. We have not yet reviewed or fixed this map.

USDA Plants Profile for Acer pensylvanicum

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) Article for Acer pensylvanicum

Similar Plants

thumbnail of Mountain Maple
Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum)
View - Compare

Habitat

Found in deciduous forests, on moist, acidic soils in valleys, and cool, north-facing slopes. Found in heavily to moderately shaded habitats, and gets replaced by other vegetation in habitats with more direct sunlights.

Life Cycle

Sprouts from seed, and often persists for years as a small understory shrub.

Seed production begins at 10 years of age, and seed production is consistent from year to year. However, small trees may produce very little seed, as few as 10 individual seeds.

Individual trees are either male or female, with only one flower type in a given year, but trees may change sex from year to year. Changes from male to female are much more common than vice-versa.

Trees are able to reproduce vegetatively by layering and resprouting from the base. Layering occurs relatively infrequently and represents only a small portion of total reproduction; basal sprouting is slightly more common but still much less common than reproduction by seed.

Trees reach best growth when small gaps develop that increase light to moderate levels; established trees already existing in such gaps can grow rapidly to reach their maximum size of about 50 feet (15 meters) and occupy these gaps for as long as 100 years. Other individuals may complete their entire lifecycle as an understory shrub.

Trees are moderately resistant to low-intensity fire, and can resprout if top-killed. Crown fires that burn only the upper canopy of a forest can benefit this species because it does not reach the canopy and is thus unaffected by these fires, and such fires create gaps that this species is poised to benefit from.

Photo gallery