Mountain Maple - Acer spicatum

Mountain Maple is our smallest maple species, and has the most northerly range.  This tall shrub is extremely important in riparian systems, where the dense layering that occurs from roots and new shoots helps to prevent erosion on banks.   Mountain Maple produces small keys that are eaten by moose and deer in the spring.  The leaves are 5-12cm long and have 3 main lobes, bordered by prominent saw-toothed edges.

Mountain Maple Leaves
The leaves of the Mountain Maple usually have 3 saw-tooth edged lobes, but can have 2 small and irregular lower lobes as well

Mountain Maple Keys
The pale green/pinkish keys are a treat to many animals when they are first produced, but don’t disperse until the fall.

Pink Mountain Maple Keys
Some keys are very pink!

Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Mountain Maples. 1995-1999.
Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Mountain Maples. 1995-1999.

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Farrar, J.L.. 1995. Trees in Canada. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. Toronto. ON. 504 pp.  

Kershaw, L. 2001. Trees in Ontario: Including tall shrubs. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. AB. 240 pp

Muma, W. 2011. Ontario Trees and Shrubs. [Online] Available:

OMNR, 2011. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario Tree Atlas. [Online] Available:

OMNR, 2008. Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Risk.