We chose the Striped Maple as our name and symbol because several of its properties. It is an understory tree that survives well within larger oak forests. It is small but feisty. It regularly bears fruit in the form of maple keys called samarra. It is often used as ornamental plantings in the landscape world. It has a beautiful green and grey striped bark.
The striped maple grows in southern Quebec and southeastern Ontario, and south to the central United States. A small tree, this maple grows no more than 10 metres high and can live about 100 years.
Its leaves have three lobes that are very small compared with other maples.
It has a key-like fruit like the other maples, but with wings that form almost a 90 degree angle.
The bark on the striped maple is unusual in that after one or two years it is marked by vertical, whitish stripes, which become greenish brown, making the bark look like the skin of a lizard.
This maple species grows best on cool, moist soils. Being shade-tolerant, it does well in the understory.
Also commonly known as the moosewood or moose maple, the striped maple leaves and young shoots are a favourite food of moose in winter. Birds feed on the buds, and rodents, such as beavers and porcupines, eat the bark.
Because of its small size and the colour of its bark and leaves, the striped maple is planted as an ornamental in cities. The species has been used in Europe as an ornamental for some time.