The Trees at Keele

Moose-bark  Acer pensylvanicum

Moosebark leaf and trunk

A native of Nova Scotia to Georgia, it is the only American Snake-bark maple. It was named after the American State of Pennsylvania but, when the name was first published, it was misspelt - hence the missing "n" in the scientific name! It can grow to 17m but more usually to 10m. In its native habitat it is very shade tolerant and more an understory shrub, rarely becoming a canopy tree.

Leaves : broad and soft, 8-15 cm long and 6-12 cm broad, with three shallow forward-pointing lobes, brownish hairs beneath. Yellow in the autumn.

Bark green when young with white vertical stripes, becoming brown with age.

Uses: Grown as an ornamental tree in UK but in its native habitat foresters sometimes consider it to be a pest tree because its shade tolerance makes it difficult to control and it is often present in great numbers in the understory.

Location : One in the special collection by the Memorial Garden; square K10; tag 14.