Common Name: snakebark maple, striped maple

Scientific Name: 
Genus: Acer
Section: Macrantha
Species: A. spp.

Hardiness Zone: variable
Height: 30-50'
Width: 20'

Common characteristics:

Snakebark maples are upright, often multi-trunked tree with arching branches. Smooth, olive green bark is streaked with green and white. Leaves are ovate and unlobed growing in an opposite leaf arrangement. Leaves are dark green and have doubly serrate margins. Small, yellowish flowers bloom in pendant racemes that are 2" to 3" long in the spring. Flowers give way to small but abundant winged samaras which mature in fall. Excellent yellow to orange to red fall color. 

Snakebark maples are a taxonomic section of maples containing 18 separate species, including Acer davidii and Acer pensylvanicum

Where it grows:

Easily grown in average to medium moisture solid that is well-drained. Prefers acidic soils that are kept consistently moist. Best in full sun to partial shade. Prefers partial shade especially where hot summer climates exist. Best performance occurs in cool summer climates such as the Pacific Northwest. Plants do not perform well in the heat and humidity of the deep South.

How it’s used:

Uncommonly found in cultivation. Attractive small tree or large shrub for parks or yards.

Where it is native to:

The only species of snakebark maple native to the United States is "Acer pensylvanicum". Originally native from China. 

Known Varieties and Their Traits:

‘Ernest Wilson’: round compact crown, bark conspicuously striped, leaves unlobed, green

‘George Forrest’: pink-red young stems, leaves reddish when unfolding then dark green, described as both unlobed and 3-lobed, triangular-shaped.


Potential disease problems include verticillium wilt, leaf spots, tar spot, canker, and root rots. Potential insect problems include aphids, scale, borers, and caterpillars. Mites may appear.


Missouri Botanical Garden

Oregon State University