Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Acer - The Maples

Acer barbinerve
This is a small, multistemmed tree that is native to China, North Korea and eastern Russia and was discovered in 1867 and brought to England in 1890. Like most maples, it flowers in the spring. It is hardy to zone 4 which makes it an excellent choice for those in zones too cold for Japanese Maples. Fall color is yellow.

Acer campestre 'Carnival'
This maple emerges in the spring with leaves that are cream, pink and light green. The picture above is just at the end of spring and so the leaves are mostly green and white. It likes light shade, or just morning sun and a sheltered position in the garden. This is a rather new cultivar and was discovered in the Netherlands in 1989. It will eventually get to be about 10 feet tall, but it is not a fast growing tree. It is hardy to zone 5.

Acer campestre 'Postelense'

Gold/green leaves in the early spring, turning limey green for the summer. Best in light shade. Hardy to zone 4. Only 6-8 feet tall and suitable for bonsai.

Acer capillipes

Acer capillipes is one of the striped bark maples. In time it becomes a quite large tree. The bark is green with dark lengthwise stripes. New foliage is bright red, turning green. It is native to Japan throughout the HOnshy and Shikoku regions.

Acer circinatum

Acer cincinatum, commonly known as Vine Maple, is a difficult tree in this area - better suited to the west coast in places like Oregon and Washington. All other species that are related to this one are found in Asia, which some people believe gives credence to the theory of a land bridge between the continents at some time in the past. This is a tall shrub or small tree, up to 15 feet tall. Here is grows at the edge of the woods, in situations that would suit a dogwood. Fall color is mostly red, though oranges and yellows may also appear on some trees. It is hardy in zones 6-9.

Acer circinatum 'Oregon Fern'
This is one of the very few cut leaf Vine Maples. Although it is lovely all summer, it is in the fall when it really shines. The picture below shows what it looked like here this fall.

Acer circinatum 'Oregon Fern' fall colors

Acer circinatum 'Sunglow'
Recently a few more Vine Maple cultivars have been showing up and 'Sunglow' seems to be one of the best. During the summer, the leaves are mostly green with some red/orange/pink highlights, but the name comes from the colors of the foliage when it is coming out in the spring.
Sunglow is a perfect name...

Acer circinatum 'Sunglow' new growth

More maples next time. It's a big group and we have quite a few growing here and with everything so brown and grey outside, with the exception of the snow, it is just so nice to look at the colors of the maples on a cold December night.
A small 'funny', nothing to do with maples. We have a heated birdbath which is one of the best things we ever got for the garden, a gift from my mother a few Christmases ago. It gives the birds open water all winter when the creek is frozen. Usually they just drink, but the other morning while we were eating breakfast, there was a Mourning Dove, smack in the center of the thing, just splashing away taking a bath. The temperature was in the teens, but it didn't seem to faze the dove one bit. I thought about taking a picture, but I knew it wouldn't be there all that long and if I moved to get the camera, it would fly away, so I just enjoyed watching it. You never know what's going to be just outside the window.

1 comment:

Vandraren said...


Found your blog searching for cultivars of Acer circinatum. Oregon fern was new to me. Wounderful plant!
nice reading and pictures. Thank you!
Urban Hagglund
Collector, building a privat arboretum