Acer pensylvanicum

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Acer pensylvanicum L.


Life form: tree

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade - Exposure: shade   6

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: simple


Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: schizocarp

3A / f8da21 

Inflorescence: panicle

Petals: not specified
Habit: pendant

Canopy: broadly columnar



Acer pensylvanicum is a tree.


Acer pensylvanicum was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.


Acer pensylvanicum is a species in the genus Acer which contains approximately 230 to 296 species and belongs to the family of the Aceraceae (Maple Family). The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanus.


Acer pensylvanicum - leaves
Acer pensylvanicum - branches
Acer pensylvanicum - fruits
Acer pensylvanicum - trunks


The trees are comparatively slow-growing and short-lived. They reach heights of 8 to 11 metres and have a broadly columnar canopy The main growing season is in spring and summer. The plants reach a width of 3 to 8 metres.

Wood and Bark

The bark is smooth and white.


Acer pensylvanicum is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are opposite. They are ovate and petiolate with lobate margins and palmate venation. The surface of the leaves is glabrous. The foliage is porous and turns an attractive yellow in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Acer pensylvanicum produces panicles of pendant, yellow five-stellate flowers from May to June. The plants flower on older shoots.

The trees produce brown schizocarps from summer to autumn.

Root System

The plants form shallow roots.


Acer pensylvanicum is native to eastern Canada, the Northeast of the US, the central Northeast of the US and the Southeast of the US.


The trees prefer a sunny to shady situation on fresh to moist soil. They prefer sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 4,4 and 6,5. The plants need a soil depth of at least 71 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -23°C (USDA zone 6) and need a frost-free period of at least 13 weeks.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: soil salinity, anaerobic soil
  • low: drought, calcareous soil


The ornamental value of Acer pensylvanicum lies especially in the attractive autumn aspect. The recommended planting distance is 2 to 2,4 metres. Suited for windbreaks and soil protection, as well as suited as cemetery plant, container plant, specimen plant and as a small canopy tree along roads.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.

Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization.


Pests and Diseases


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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