Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’ – Manchurian Snakebark Maple
Botanical Name: Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’
Alternate Name: Manchurian Striped Maple, Manchurian Stripebark Maple, Manchu Striped Maple
The Manchurian Snakebark Maple (Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’) is a deciduous maple which grows to 35 feet tall and 25 feet wide. It is named after the former director of the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, WA.
It is grown for its stunning and unusual bark, which covers the trunk and branches and seems to shimmer. The delicate bark is an olive green color. It has fine, vertical ridges that are adorned with thin, white, chalk-like stripes, with small horizontal cracks which develop calluses.
The white stripes are particular to this cultivar, differentiating it from other Snakebark Maples. In fact, this maple has the whitest bark of the Snakebark Maples. Due to a waxy covering, it can turn completely white on juvenile branches. Sometimes this occurs on all branches in the winter months, creating a seasonal spectacle on the tree’s silhouette.
The leaves of the Manchurian Snakebark Maple are a soft, mid-green. The leaves are the largest of the Snakebark Maples. They are heart-shaped with 5 points.
The pretty yellow-green flowers trail in small clusters in spring. The fruit do not contribute to this tree’s ornamental impact. The fall color is a pretty pale yellow.
The Manchurian Snakebark Maple should be cared for by planting in sun or dappled shade to protect it. In areas where there is a danger of frost damage on the trunk (vertical cracks) in winter, it should be planted in partial shade. It needs rich, well-drained soil and regular water. It is a very cold hardy tree.