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Acer pensylvanicum

  • BOTANICAL NAME:  Acer pensylvanicum
  • PRONUNCIATION:  A-ser  pen-sil-van-i-kum
  • COMMON NAME:  Moosewood, Striped Maple
  • FAMILY:  Aceraceae
  • NATIVITY: Nova Scotia south to Georgia, west to Wisconsin
  • GROWTH HABIT:  Oval to rounded small tree up to 25' tall.
  • HARDINESS:  Zone 4-8
  • CULTURE:  Grows best in light shade, can tolerate full sun in cooler northern climates. 
    Prefers moist, acid, well-drained soils; is not tolerant of drought.  Grows as an understory tree in moist woodlands.
  • LANDSCAPE USE:  Good tree for naturalizing.  Will fit small residential lots well but not adapted to urban conditions. 
  • FOLIAGE:   Opposite, simple, 4- 7" long and as much in width, 3 prominent lobes, base cordate, margins serrate. 
    The foliage is green in summer with yellow fall color.
  • BUDS:   Valvate buds with two scales, 3/8-1/2", bright red in winter. Terminal longer than laterals.
  • BARK:   Young stems bright green in the summer turning bright red in the winter.  Two year old stems develop white vertical stripes that  contrast strongly with the red winter stem color.  One of the most striking barks you will see. 
    Old stems (5-7 year) lose the distinctive coloration.
  • FRUIT:  Pendulous inflorescences give rise to samaras, 3/4" - 1" long, wings wide spreading.
  • PESTS:   The landscape! (None serious).

'Erythrocladum' - possible the most stunning plant for bark characteristics.  The brilliant red stems with striking white stripes are a show stopper.  When well sited in front of an evergreen background, people have been known to freeze to death while relishing the view. I was on a 3 year quest for this plant and after a few thousand miles on my car I now have several of these specimens.