Common or Field Maple Acer campestre


The field maple is widespread in western, central and eastern Europe but requires a milder climate than both preceding species and does not extend northward as far as Scandinavia. Even in central Europe it is found only in warmer regions, at elevations up to about 500 metres. It generally grows to a height of no more than 7 to 15 metres. Only in riverine woods or rich soil does it attain a height of more than 15 metres. The bark is furrowed into rhombic plates and the variety suberosa has corky wings on the twigs. The leaf stalk exudes a milky substance when broken off. The yellow-green flowers appear at the beginning of May, together with the leaves. The fruit, a wide double samara with parallel wings, ripens in September and October.

The field maple is a slow-growing tree with a shallow root system. It produces a vigorous crop of stump suckers, and also puts out root suckers. It is generally found growing on well-drained, sun-warmed slopes amid other trees and in hedgerows. The hard wood is highly valued and used to make lathe-turned articles, in wood-carving and joinery.

Leaves: Palmate 5-lobed, 4—7(10) cm wide, fairly variable, lobes bluntly pointed, with entire or sparingly toothed margins.

Flowers: Greenish, in upright panicles. Fruit: A double samara with flattened seeds.