Trees of Wisconsin

Acer spicatum Lam.
Mountain maple
Family: Aceraceae
tree leaf flower fruit twig bark

Acer spicatum is a shrub or small tree. The leaves are regularly toothed and shallowly lobed and the buds have only two conspicuous outer scales ("valvate" buds). The twigs tend to be green or reddish and often a combination of the two, and they are finely pubescent. The flowers are born in narrow, erect panicles. Where heavily browsed by deer or otherwise repeatedly damaged, they may form dense clumps of small stems.

Acer spicatum is a northern species, ranging from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland, south through New England to Pennsylvania (south to Georgia in the Appalachian Mountains) and west to Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is widely distributed in Wisconsin, but it is more common in the north and is uncommon over large portions of the south. It is found primarily in wet forests, or on thin soils over limestone/dolomite rocks. It can be very aggressive on the Door Peninsula where it may form a dense understory following logging or heavy natural disturbance of forests. It is conspicuous along the Niagara Escarpment.

known Wisconsin distribution


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