Acer spicatum (Mountain Maple) - Qt Super Plugs


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A common understory tree in Northern forests in Eastern Canada & New England, ranging south in the Appalachians to Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama & Georgia and then west to Minnesota, Iowa and Saskatchewan, Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum) has much to offer for the gardener.

Often growing as a small tree or large shrub 10-25 feet in height, mountain maple is somewhat of a north american alternative to Japanese maples.  These trees can be found growing in openings in the majestic spruce-fir forests of the Tennessee mountains, or in shady, steep North-facing slopes in Ohio.

The fall color is often a burnt orange or reddish-orange, especially out in a sunny opening in the late October sunlight.


Found mostly in the understory and at the forest edge, mountain maple is a preferred browse for deer, moose, hares & many other animals.  Birds appreciate its twiggy branches for nesting, and eat the winged seeds that develop in late Autumn.

As with most species of native maples, Mountain Maple is a good larval host plant for butterflies and moths.

Mountain maple is also a useful garden tree, usually keeping fairly small and offering interesting vertical panicles of flowers in Spring, with an attractive orange-red to yellow fall color. It makes a good understory layer component for densely shaded, cool woodland gardens, particularly in Northern and Mountain regions where the summer nights remain cool.

Growing Information

Mountain maple is easy to grow in average moist soils, so long as there is some shade - These trees will scorch in full sunlight.  The trees are very shade tolerant, and can be used to develop a more structured understory in woodland gardens or woodlots.

Mountain maple isn't very drought tolerant, so they do need water in very dry weather.  Plant in an area where the summer night temperatures remain below 65 degrees on average - This tree does not like the heat!

Our Mountain Maples are available in Quart SuperPlugs, with well-branched root systems that will establish and grow quickly.

Common Name: Mountain Maple
Botanical Name: Acer spicatum
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Height: 15-25 Feet
Spread: 10-15 Feet
Spacing: 6-8 Feet
Flower Color: Creamy White, Attractive
Bloom Time: Late Spring-Early Summer
Texture: Coarse (Large Leaves)
Habit: Upright Multi-Trunk Tree to Tall Shrub
Light Exposure: Full Shade to Morning Sun; High-Elevation Mountain Forests & Ravines
Soil Moisture: Moist to Average
Soil Texture: Clay Loam to Sandy Loam; Well-Drained
Soil PH: Acidic to Slightly Acidic
Landscape Uses: Small Tree, Shrub, Understory Tree
Benefits: Tolerates Full Shade, Attractive Flowers, Bright Fall Color
Ecological Function: Nectar and Pollen, Larval Food Source, Soil Stabilization, Seed


  • 5
    Very healthy.

    Posted by Unknown on Feb 9th 2016

    Trees were packaged very well and arrived undamaged. Root growth was fantastic.