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A picture of a Maple

Maple

Acer spp.

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Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

H6

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

20m

Max

10m

50cm

Min

50cm

7 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

Armadale Castle - gardens 4
A photo of Maple
Maples in fall colours, Dutchy.s Hole, Ottawa

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Overview

Plants in the Acer genus are commonly known as Maples, 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 specimens trees, adding structure to more extensive gardens, parks or public spaces. The smaller, colourful Japanese maples are low maintenance additions to most spaces, needing only a sheltered, partial shady location with annual feed to encourage an impressive season change display. Larger species will happily grow in most spots provided they are given water for several years to help them get established. 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 to be 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 campestra and A. buergerianum are popular choices to be trained as "Bonsai".

Common problems

Harvesting

Maple sap can be collected by tapping the trunk once the sap starts to rise in spring. Timber is cut when the tree is mature.

Propagation

Grafting

Graft in late winter.

Cuttings

Seed

The samaras (winged seeds) need to experience a period of cold before they germinate. The seeds can be sown as soon as they are ripe by removing the wings and sowing into pots of compost and kept in cold frames over winter to appear in spring.

Layering

Bend branches down to the ground in autumn or early spring as the best way to propagate named cultivars.

Special Features

Attractive leaves

Autumn colour

Uses

Maple wood has a variety of uses. Its decorative wood grain is used for a variety of purposes from building to making musical instruments and butchers blocks. It is also used in pulpwood production.