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Snakebark Maple, Moosewood, Striped Maple, Whistlewood, Goosefoot Maple

Acer pensylvanicum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: pensylvanicum (pen-sill-VAN-ee-kum) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Amherst, Massachusetts

Ashburnham, Massachusetts

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jackson, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Monticello, New York

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Essex Junction, Vermont

Kirkland, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 29, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is a forest understory tree that usually gets about 15 to 30 feet high, but up to 50 feet high is possible in a very favorable spot. It is native to southeast Canada, New England, NY, PA, and down the Appalachians into eastern TN and north GA. It is infrequently found; it is common only in certain areas of its native range. Very shade tolerant and it needs shade. It needs a moist to well-drained soil that is acid of pH 4.0 to 5.0 as best, up to 6.0 or even 6.5 is possible. It can not be easily grown in just any landscape. Does not tolerate winter sun on the trunk because it can cause bark split. It is not invasive and it can only be aggressive in one of the favorable natural areas of forest environment with acid, rich soil. It is a beautiful, high quality, rare native woody plant. Ra... read more


On Oct 20, 2008, agustin from Monticello, NY wrote:

it is true, that even right after planting large amounts of water are not needed ,its roots start growing really fast therefore not much care is needed after the first couple of weeks . i planted one for arbor day this year well transplanted at that. there is one text book example in my yard too perfect example in every wal .


On Feb 25, 2006, ppatnaude from Amherst, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have seen this plant growing near woodland borders in Western MA; I have not seen it used in a landscape plantings here.


On Nov 13, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

These trees are pretty common in the Catskills and make great walking sticks. I also have fond memories of using them as catapaults in my childhood. When young, they are very flexible and springy. Bent back, one a couple inches in diameter and can propel a small child or large ball a considerable distance. I taught this skill to my nephew, much to my sister's annoyance, and at eight or nine he once launched himself so far away that he got lost for a couple of hours. : )


On Nov 12, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A small, mostly Northern tree with green bark vertically marked with thin white stripes.

Grows best in semi-shade, damp conditions.

Not very useful as a hardwood for construction or furniture. It just does not get big enough for commercial value.


On Nov 9, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree typically grows as an understory tree in wooded areas. It has bright green leaves in summer. Fall foliage is a beautiful bright yellow. Shady conditions are essential. It is intolerant of pollution, drought and heat.


On Feb 2, 2002, activex wrote:

This common tree is easily distinguished from other trees, with lobed leaves growing in pairs. Maples also have distinctive fruits called samaras-winged, paired seeds that spin to the ground like helicopter propellers.

What to look for: Leaves 3 lobed and finely toothed and pale below. Flowers are bright yellow on long hanging stalks. Bark is smooth and bright green with white stripes.

Habitat: Up lands and rich moist soil.

Size: 20 - 30 feet tall. Leaves 5 - 6 inches long.