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Maryland’s largest striped maple tree found in Druid Hill Park

A striped maple tree (Acer pensylvanicum).
A striped maple tree (Acer pensylvanicum).
Isfisk of Wikimedia Commons

Recently, a local volunteer discovered a large striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) for the record of Maryland Champion trees. Daniel Wilson, a self taught tree expert spotted the tree on one of his regular walks through Druid Hill Park in Baltimore City. The new striped maple Big Tree Champion is 47 feet high and the trunk is 2 1/3 feet around, according to The Baltimore Sun. Champion trees are assessed according to trunk circumference, crown spread and height. While this tree may seem small, it is very large for a striped maple.

A striped maple tree has grey-green bark with white, orange or grey stripes. The 5 to 8 inch long leaves have 3 lobes and are often said to look like a goose foot. It bears little yellow bell-like flowers in May or June. Sometimes this tree is referred to as a moosewood or moose maple. Most striped maples are not nearly as large as the new champion because they often do not grow over 45 feet tall. It is what is called an understory tree because the striped maple is not tall enough to be part of the main forest canopy. See the Mcphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project web site for photos.

While the Druid Hill Big Tree is more than twice as big as the striped maples that previously held this record, it is still small in comparison to other Big Trees. In comparison, a champion black mulberry in Westminster is 78 feet high and 21 feet in circumference and an American beech in Lothian, MD is 112 feet high and more than 24 feet around. For more information on these and other Big Tree Champions of Maryland see the Maryland Department of Natural Resources web site.

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