Mountain maple has the northernmost range of the eastern North American maple species. It grows generally at forest edges and in the understory, being fairly shade tolerant. It is a multi-stemmed, small and erect shrub. It flowers with erect candle-shaped light green clusters, which develop in autumn into attractive red samaras.
The species has long been grown in Finland though in small numbers, usually only in botanical collections. However, it is very hardy, which means it would be suitable for wider use in parks and gardens.
At Mustila this species, of unknown provenance, has survived the severest winters without damage. The oldest specimen, dating from almost a century ago, grows on Pähkinärinne (Hazelnut slope). Small groups of younger plants grow throughout the Arboretum, originating from seed collected by Mustila’s own expeditions to the northernmost limits of its natural range in Canada.