Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Acer pensylvanicum


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1993. Acer pensylvanicum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : ACEPEN SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : ACPE COMMON NAMES : striped maple moosewood goosefoot maple whistlewood TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for striped maple is Acer pensylvanicum L. [14]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Striped maple is widely distributed over the northeastern quarter of the United States and adjacent southeastern Canada.  Its natural range extends from Nova Scotia and the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec west to southern Ontario, Michigan, and eastern Minnesota; south to northeastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia [6,14]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES10  White - red - jack pine    FRES11  Spruce - fir    FRES15  Oak - hickory    FRES18  Maple - beech - birch    FRES19  Aspen - birch STATES :      CT  GA  KY  ME  MD  MA  MI  MN  NH  NJ      NY  NC  OH  PA  RI  SC  TN  VT  VA  WV      NB  NS  ON  PE  PQ BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest    K095  Great Lakes pine forest    K096  Northeastern spruce - fir forest    K102  Beech - maple forest    K103  Mixed mesophytic forest    K104  Appalachian oak forest    K106  Northern hardwoods    K107  Northern hardwoods - fir forest    K108  Northern hardwoods - spruce forest SAF COVER TYPES :      5  Balsam fir     16  Aspen     17  Pin cherry     18  Paper birch     20  White pine - northern red oak - red maple     21  Eastern white pine     22  White pine - hemlock     23  Eastern hemlock     24  Hemlock - yellow birch     25  Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch     26  Sugar maple - basswood     27  Sugar maple     28  Black cherry - maple     30  Red spruce - yellow birch     31  Red spruce - sugar maple - beech     32  Red spruce     35  Paper birch - red spruce - balsam fir     44  Chestnut oak     51  White pine - chestnut oak     60  Beech - sugar maple    107  White spruce SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Striped maple is a common but minor understory forest component.  It appears as an understory species in boreal mixed woodland, and in spruce-fir and hardwood types in northern forest regions. The most common understory associates of striped maple include hobblebush (Viburnum alnifolium), Canada yew (Taxus canadensis), mountain maple (Acer spicatum), oxalis (Oxalis spp.), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), and pawpaw (Asimina triloba) [6,17,25].


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : The wood of striped maple wood is porous and fine grained, and has occasionally been used by cabinet makers for inlay material [6]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Striped maple is an important wildlife food.  It is one of the preferred species for rabbits, and is frequently eaten by porcupines.  The leaves and shoots are browsed by moose, white-tailed deer, and beavers [11,12]. Ruffed grouse consume the vegetative buds [6].  The nectar is an important food source for honeybees [1]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Striped maple is occasionally planted as an ornamental [11]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : When striped maple regeneration is abundant before cutting, it frequently become the dominant species after cutting, excluding more desirable species [10].  In northwest Pennsylvania, when more than 30 percent of regeneration plots had more than eight striped maple seedlings before clearcutting, this species became dominant after cutting.  If the number of striped maple stems exceeds this percentage, it is essential to reduce their numbers before cutting to encourage regeneration of desirable hardwood species.  Striped maple can be controlled with glyphosate applied with a mistblower at the rate of 1 lb/acre (1.12 kg/ha).  Best kill was achieved when applied from July 1 through September 1 [6,10].


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Striped maple is a native, deciduous, tall shrub or small tree.  It reaches a maximum height of about 45 feet (13 m), but is usually smaller [11,16].  It has a short, forked trunk divided into a few ascending, arching branches, forming a broad but uneven, flat-topped to rounded crown.  The branchlets are straight and slender [6,11].  Striped maple is primarily dioecious; monoecy is rare.  The sex ratio is male-biased. Hibbs [9] reported that 80 percent of a Massachusetts population was male.  The fruit of striped maple is a two-winged sumara.  The root system is shallow and wide-spreading [6,11]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual reproduction: Striped maple reproduces mostly by seed.  Seed production varies from tree to tree; some trees produce as few as 10 seeds, whereas others produce several thousand.  Seed production begins at about 10 years of age, and large seed crops are produced every year. The seeds are wind dispersed [6,18]. A small proportion of striped maples undergo gender change.  The gender of such trees may differ from year to year [9,19].  In one year, in a sample of trees taken in western Massachusetts, 27 of 243 trees changed sex.  Most changes were from male to female [6]. Vegetative reproduction: Vegetative reproduction does not seem to play an important part in the reproduction of striped maple.  Although it reproduces by layering and basal sprouting, sampling of striped maple populations showed that only 3 percent of the trees originated from layering, and 8 percent by sprouting [6].  In general, vegetative propagation seems to be a mechanism by which it survives suppression rather than increases in number [6]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Striped maple is found on moist, acid soils in deep valleys and on cool, moist, shaded, north-facing slopes.  In middle elevations and on mesic sites in the Green Mountains of Vermont, it is found from 1,830 to 2,830 feet (550-830 m) in elevation.  It reaches best development below 2,430 feet (730 m) in elevation [6,9]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Striped maple is tolerant of deep shade but develops best under moderate light [3,16].  Rapid shoot growth can occur under low light intensity, but the growth is etiolated.  Under direct sunlight, striped maple is succeeded by mountain maple.  It grows well in small forest openings and under thinned overstories that result in moderate understory lighting. Because its maximum height growth is about 50 feet (15 m), it never becomes a major component in the upper canopy of northern hardwood forests.  It may, however, occupy forest openings for more than 100 years [6,21,22]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Striped maple flowers from May to June.  The fruits ripen in September and October and are dispersed in October and November [18].


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Striped maple is moderately resistant to low-severity fires.  In a study of tree survival after low-severity surface fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, striped maple showed a positive correlation of bark thickness to tree diameter growth.  Equations relating bark thickness, tree diameter, tree diameter growth rate, and fire survival were given [8]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown    Crown residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)    Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Striped maple establishes from seed and/or sprouts after fire [103].  Crown fire that burns only the upper canopy of a deciduous forest presumably has little effect on striped maple, because striped maple never reaches the upper canopy.  Crown fire can create partial openings in a stand, ideal for striped maple recruitment [2,4,15]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Striped maple probably sprouts from the root crown after fire [6]. Information regarding postfire establishment of striped maple is sparse. On the George Washington National Forest, West Virginia, a spring prescribed fire increased total striped maple density in a mixed-hardwood forest. Average striped maple seedling densities before fire and in postfire year 5 were were 3,921 and 2,158 seedlings/acre, respectively; striped maple sprout densities were 342 sprouts/acre before and 1,658 sprouts/acre 5 years after the fire. See the Research Paper of Wendel and Smith's [26] study for details on the fire prescription and fire effects on striped maple and 6 other tree species. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : The Research Project Summary Early postfire effects of a prescribed fire in the southern Appalachians of North Carolina provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant community species, including striped maple, that was not available when this species review was originally written. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Acer pensylvanicum
REFERENCES :  1.  Batra, S. W. T. 1985. Red maple (Acer rubrum L.), an important early        spring food resource for honey bees and other insects. Journal of the        Kansas Entomological Society. 58(1): 169-172.  [12666]  2.  Bergeron, Yves; Brisson, Jacques. 1990. Fire regime in red pine stands        at the northern limit of the species range. Ecology. 71(4): 1352-1364.        [11819]  3.  Clebsch, Edward E. C.; Busing, Richard T. 1989. Secondary succession,        gap dynamics, and community structure in a southern Appalachian cove        forest. Ecology. 70(3): 728-735.  [6972]  4.  Engstrom, F. Brett; Mann, Daniel H. 1991. Fire ecology of red pine        (Pinus resinosa) in northern Vermont, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest        Research. 21: 882-889.  [14997]  5.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905]  6.  Gabriel, William J.; Walters, Russell S. 1990. Striped maple. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala Barbara H, eds. Silvics of North America.        Agricultural Handbook 654. Washington D. C.: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 53-59.  [21505]  7.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others].        1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range        ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p.  [998]  8.  Harmon, Mark E. 1984. Survival of trees after low-intensity surface        fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ecology. 65(3): 796-802.        [10997]  9.  Hibbs, David E. 1978. The life history and strategy of striped maple        (Acer pensylvanicum L.). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts. 96 p.        Ph.D. dissertation.  [10211] 10.  Horsley, Stephen B. 1988. How vegetation can influence regeneration. In:        Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd, William E., Jr, eds. Guidelines        for regenerating Appalachian hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988        May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. Society of American Foresters Publ. 88-03.        Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 38-54.  [13544] 11.  Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian        Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p.  [3375] 12.  Krefting, Laurtis W. 1974. The ecology of the Isle Royale Moose with        special reference to the habitat. Tech. Bull. 297, Forestry Series 15.        Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment        Station. 75 p.  [8678] 13.  Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation        of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York:        American Geographical Society. 77 p.  [1384] 14.  Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native        and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p.  [2952] 15.  Loope, Walter L. 1991. Interrelationships of fire history, land use        history, and landscape pattern within Pictured Rocks National Seashore,        Michigan. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 105(1): 18-28.  [5950] 16.  Marquis, Robert J.; Passoa, Steven. 1989. Seasonal diversity and        abundance of the herbivore fauna of striped maple Acer pensylvanicum L.        (Aceraceae) in western Virginia. American Midland Naturalist. 122:        313-320.  [9274] 17.  Nichols, George E. 1913. The vegetation of Connecticut. II. Virgin        forests. Torreya. 13(9): 199-215.  [14069] 18.  Olson, David F., Jr.; Gabriel, W. J. 1974. Acer L.  maple. In:        Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the        United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 187-194.  [7462] 19.  Primack, Richard B.; McCall, Claire. 1986. Gender variation in a red        maple population (Acer rubrum: Aceraceae): a seven-year study of a        "polygamodioecious" species. American Journal of Botany. 73(9):        1239-1248.  [12609] 20.  Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant        geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p.  [2843] 21.  Roberts, Mark R. 1992. Stand development and overstory-understory        interactions in an aspen- northern hardwoods stand. Forest Ecology and        Management. 54: 157-174.  [19949] 22.  Sakai, Ann K.; Roberts, Mark R.; Jolls, Claudia L. 1985. Successional        changes in a mature aspen forest in northern lower Michigan: 1974-1981.        American Midland Naturalist. 113(2): 271-282.  [4450] 23.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern        Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire        Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p.  [20090] 24.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982.        National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names.        SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p.  [11573] 25.  Wendel, G. W. 1990. Prunus pensylvanica L. f.  pin cherry. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of        North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-593.  [13971] 26. Wendel, G. W.; Smith, H. Clay. 1986. Effects of a prescribed fire in a central Appalachian oak-hickory stand. NE-RP-594. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 8 p. [73936]

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