Mountain maple

Silhouette - mountain maple
  • Latin name: Acer spicatum Lamb.
  • French name: Érable à épis
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 28758
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - mountain maple

Form

  • Triangular, 3–5 lobes
  • Central and lateral lobes separated by wedge-shaped notches
  • Lower surface hairy

Length

  • 6–12 cm

Width

  • Almost as wide as long

Colour

  • Upper surface yellowish-green
  • Lower surface white
  • Petiole reddish

Autumn colour

  • Red, yellow, or brown

Margin

  • Coarsely and irregularly toothed
  • Edges of teeth usually curved outward   

Petiole

  • Slender, usually longer than leaf blade

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - mountain maple

Form

  • Terminal bud present, slender
  • 1 pair of visible scales that meet along their edges
  • Covered with hairs

Length

  • 2–3 times as long as wide

Colour

  • Hairs grey

Twigs

  • Winter twig - mountain maple

Form

  • Slender
  • Coated with very short hairs
  • Somewhat dull, velvety

Colour

  • Yellowish-green to reddish-brown or pink 
  • Hairs grey

Flowers

Form

  • Stalks slender, often branched 
  • 5 petals and sepals
  • Arranged along a central stem in dense erect terminal clusters (panicles)

Width

  • 10 mm

Colour

  • Pale yellowish-green to creamy white

Structure

  • Polygamo-monoecious 

Floral timing

  • After the leaves are fully grown

Fruits

  • Fruit - mountain maple

Form

  • Incurved
  • Angle between wings less than 90°
  • Seedcase indented on one side
  • Keys on short, sometimes branched, stalks
  • Arranged around a central stem in drooping clusters
  • Mature in late summer

Length

  • Wings about 20 mm

Structure

  • Samara
  • In joined pairs

Bark

Form

  • Thin, dull
  • Smooth or slightly grooved

Colour

  • Reddish to greyish-brown
  • Often with light-coloured blotches

Size

Height

  • To 5 m

Diameter

  • To 15 cm

Tree form

  • Silhouette - mountain maple

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Short, crooked
  • Irregularly divided into few ascending, slender, straight limbs

Crown

  • Unevenly rounded, open

Root system

  • Very shallow

Habitat

Site

  • Well-drained moist soils
  • Along streams, in ravines, and on moist rocky hillsides
  • Common on recently cut-over northern forest land
  • Often forming thickets

Light tolerance

  • Shade-tolerant
  • Seldom thriving in the open

Range

A characteristic understory tree of the forests of eastern Canada

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Mountain maple
  • Mountain maple
  • Mountain maple
  • Mountain maple
  • Mountain maple
  • Mountain maple
Distribution map
Distribution map - mountain maple
Date modified: