Herb: Moosewood


Latin name: Acer pensylvanicum


Family: Aceraceae (Maple Family)



Medicinal use of Moosewood:

A tea made from the inner bark is used in the treatment of colds, coughs, bronchitis, kidney infections, gonorrhoea and the spitting of blood. A wash is used externally on swollen limbs and as a wash for paralysis. A tea made from the leaves and twigs is used to both allay and induce vomiting, depending on the dosage.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
4.5 m
(15 feet)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

Moist rich woodlands, often by water, from sea level to 1,000 metres. Usually in the shade of other trees and occasionally forming a large part of the shrubby undergrowth.

Other uses of Moosewood:

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. The wood is light, soft, close-grained and satiny, it weighs 33lb per cubic foot. It is not used commercially, though it is sometimes used for fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 - 4 months at 1 - 8C. It can be slow to germinate. The seed can be harvested "green" (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 - 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. Grafting is not usually advised for this species, though any cultivars can be grafted onto rootstocks of the species.

Cultivation of Moosewood:

Moist rich woodlands, often by water, from sea level to 1,000 metres. Usually in the shade of other trees and occasionally forming a large part of the shrubby undergrowth.

Known hazards of Acer pensylvanicum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.