Acer campestre – Hedge Maple
Botanical Name: Acer campestre
Alternate name: Field Maple
The Hedge Maple (Acer campestre) is native to Europe and Western Asia. This tree is a small, low branched, densely rounded, deciduous tree. As the name suggests, it may be pruned to form a tall hedge.
In England it is often found growing in hedgerows along streams and in fields. However, over time this tree can also be trained to reach 100 feet tall!
Acer campestre likes full sun but thrives in part shade, particularly as a young tree. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but tolerates clay. The Hedge Maple is tolerant of urban environments and some pollution. Its low mature height is good for planting under power lines. This tree is somewhat tolerant of salt and can therefore be used near driveways and sidewalks.
The Hedge Maple has bark which is an attractive brown-gray in color with vertical furrows, and the twigs are brown with opposite buds. The leaves of Acer Campestre have 3-5 lobes, with a typical maple palmate shape and are mid- to dark green in color.
In May, tiny yellowish-green flowers hang down from the branches in clusters. They are followed in summer and fall by the fruits, which are two-winged nutlets, whose wings have a spread of almost 180 degrees. The leaves turn an attractive yellow or red color in fall.