Striped Maple Tree Facts, Uses, and Planting Tips
The striped maple, also known as the goosefoot maple, moosewood, and whistlewood, is a small maple that can grow to heights of between 15 to 35 feet. Many of the trees do reach heights above 30 feet though. One of the tallest striped maples ever documented was 65 feet tall. It had a circumference of four feet and six inches. It was discovered in the area of Black Mountain, in Kentucky, in the early part of the 1900s (before 1920). It is also a high priority tree for conservation in many states.
It is a maple that is also preferable as a shade tree over a timber tree. The striped maple can flower anywhere between late spring and into early summer. Flowering occurs when the leaves of the tree are nearly grown to their full size. The flowers themselves are bell-shaped and are a green-yellow color. The buds of a striped maple are a red-maroonish color. The seeds change to a brown-tan color later on, around the time when the tree matures in early autumn. As for the regions where it grows, the striped maple is mainly found in the Southeastern Canada, Northeastern United States, and throughout parts of the Appalachian region. It has been seen growing, in the wild, as far south as Georgia. The tree can also be found in forested regions of Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio and a few other states.
One of the unique features of the striped maple is the appearance of its leaves and its bark. The leaves can be up to 7 inches long and are shaped like the foot of a goose, which is where the alternate name of the tree, goosefoot maple, comes from. The bark of the tree is striped—the origin of the tree's name—and the striping is especially noticeable in the young bark with its green and thin white striping and streaks. As the tree gets older, the bark changes to a brown-grey like color.
Like other maples, this tree develops 'winged' seeds, which can be collected and used to grow new trees in a manner similar to other breeds of maple trees, with the environment where the tree is planted being the difference. However, success rates can be low even for professional and experienced tree growers. Regardless, it's still worth trying if you find a striped maple that you want to grow on your property. Like with most trees, the "easiest" way is to use the cold stratification method, which can be the most successful method of preparing the seeds for growth.
Here's a video, in multiple parts, showing that method (only with a Japanese Maple as an example):
The best environment for a striped maple is in the shade, not in full sun, and planted in well-drained soil. The tree also thrives better in an environment with moisture, but not standing water, in the soil. This is like what is typical of a dense forest and many glens. When grown in partial shade, the tree is more likely to reach its maximum height. While in shaded areas, it'll have an appearance similar to a shrub.
The tree is very beneficial to wildlife in terms of food, habitat, and other benefits. Rabbits and hares, squirrels, deer, and moose being just some of the wildlife that feeds on parts of the striped maple. So the young trees may require some protection from wild animals but will be perfectly fine once the tree is larger.
The bark is useful as a tea that has been historically used to treat coughs, kidney ailments, bronchitis, and treatment of acne.
Disclaimer: It's best to consult a doctor for treatment of any health issues you may have.
Questions & Answers
What do the winged seeds of the striped maple look like?
They look pretty much like seeds from any other type of maple tree. Wikimedia Commons has a good photo of them at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Striped_Ma...Helpful 1