Mountain maple (Acer spicatum)

Mountain maple photograph; ? MN DNR, Welby Smith

Form

A small tree reaching a height of up to 20', sometimes even 25' to 30', with a diameter of 6" to 8"; short trunk supports an irregular crown of small upright branches; often occurs in dense, shrubby clumps.

Bark

Thin, reddish brown, smooth or slightly furrowed.

Leaf

Simple, opposite on stem, length 2-1/2" to 4"; three lobed or partially five lobed, sometimes slightly heart shaped at the base; gradually narrowed, pointed lobes are coarsely and sharply toothed; light green turning to deep red or orange in the autumn.

Fruit (seed)

Samara about 3/4" to 1" long occurring in double-winged, U-shaped pairs.

Range

Northeastern and east-central Minnesota; shade tolerant, slow growing.