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Plant Profile: Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum)

Acer pensylvanicumAlso known as moosewood, this native of eastern United States and adjacent Canada is an under-story tree known for the vertical white stripes on the greenish gray bark of is young branches that make it an excellent choice for winter interest. The leaves are five to eight inches long, have three lobes with serrated margins, and are bright green in summer, turning a clear yellow in fall. Pendulous slender chains of small yellow bell-shaped flowers appear in late spring and are followed in late summer and fall by winged samaras ¾ to 1 inch long. Intolerant of drought, heat, and pollution, striped maple needs cool, moist soil and must be protected from strong sunlight and cold winds. It is difficult to establish and maintain unless the site is just right.

Type: Deciduous tree

Outstanding Feature: Striped bark, autumn coloration

Form: Broad, uneven or rounded crown

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Small yellow flowers in slender pendulous clusters in late spring

Size:20-30’ H

Light: Part shade

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 3-7

Care: Prune when branches are small in early summer or late autumn if necessary; do not prune in spring or cuts will bleed. Every other year the tree may be cut back hard to rejuvenate.

Pests and Diseases: Coral spot; cankers when under stress

Propagation: Seed

Outstanding Selection: ‘Erythrocladum’ (candy pink stem when young, fading to orange red; not as robust as the species).

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