Plants in the Acer genus are commonly known as Maples and Sycamores, and most have foliage that produces striking autumn colour, from deep red through bronze, orange to striking yellow or gold. Some have attractive bark, and the smaller cultivated varieties with finger-like, lacy or palmate leaf shapes are an attractive choice for large containers, courtyards or smaller gardens. Large types make stunning specimen trees, adding structure to more extensive gardens, parks or other public places. The smaller, colourful Japanese maples are low maintenance additions to most spaces, needing only a sheltered, partially shaded location and an annual feed to encourage an impressive seasonal change display. Larger species will happily grow in most spots, provided they are given water for their first few years to help them get established. They like moist but well-drained, fertile soil and a sunny position. The Acer genus comprises over 150 evergreen and deciduous tree and shrub species that are originally woodland trees. Maple sap is harvested from the species Acer saccharun, which is turned into maple syrup, and the timber from several of the larger Acer species is used in a wide variety of products. Also, species such as A. palmatum, A campestre and A. buergerianum are popular choices for training as "Bonsai". Most Acers are fully hardy and their small yellow-greenish - sometimes red - flowers appear in Spring, followed by brown or more colourful winged fruits - often in pairs. Many prefer acid soil, which enhances their red colouring in Autumn.