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Acer campestre

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Acer campestre, known as the field maple,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> is a flowering plant species in the soapberry and lychee family Sapindaceae. It is native to much of Europe, the British Isles, southwest Asia from Turkey to the Caucasus, and north Africa in the Atlas Mountains. It has been widely planted, and is introduced outside its native range in Europe and areas of USA and Western Australia with suitable climate.

Description

It is a deciduous tree reaching Template:Convert tall, with a trunk up to Template:Convert in diameter, with finely fissured, often somewhat corky bark. The shoots are brown, with dark brown winter buds. The leaves are in opposite pairs, Template:Convert long (including the Template:Convert petiole) and Template:Convert broad, with five blunt, rounded lobes with a smooth margin. Usually monoecious, the flowers are produced in spring at the same time as the leaves open, yellow-green, in erect clusters Template:Convert across, and are insect-pollinated. The fruit is a samara with two winged achenes aligned at 180°, each achene is Template:Convert wide, flat, with a Template:Convert wing.<ref name=rushforth/><ref name=afm/>

The two varieties, not accepted as distinct by all authorities, are:<ref name=rushforth/><ref name=empp/>

  • A. c. var. campestre - downy fruit
  • A. c. var. leiocarpum (Opiz) Wallr. (syn. A. c. subsp. leiocarpum) - hairless fruit

The closely related Acer miyabei replaces it in eastern Asia.<ref name=rushforth/>

Distribution

The native range of field maple includes much of Europe, including Denmark, Poland and Belarus, England north to southern Scotland (where it is the only native maple), southwest Asia from Turkey to the Caucasus, and north Africa in the Atlas Mountains.<ref name=rushforth>Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins Template:ISBN.</ref><ref name=afm>Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins Template:ISBN</ref><ref name=empp>Euro+Med Plantbase Project: Acer campestre Template:Webarchive</ref><ref name=fe>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name=fnwe>Flora of NW Europe: Acer campestre</ref><ref name=dvf>Den virtuella floran: Acer campestre distribution map</ref><ref name="nagy04">Template:Cite journal</ref> In many areas, the original native range is obscured by widespread planting and introductions.<ref name=BRCBSBI>Template:Cite web</ref> In North America it is known as hedge maple<ref name=usda>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and in Australia, it is sometimes called common maple.<ref>Department of Agriculture, Western Australia: Pests and Diseases Image Library</ref> In Nottinghamshire, England it was known locally as dog oak.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Ecology

Maple field tree, Weinsberg

Field maple is an intermediate species in the ecological succession of disturbed areas; it typically is not among the first trees to colonise a freshly disturbed area, but instead seeds in under the existing vegetation. It is very shade-tolerant during the initial stages of its life, but it has higher light requirements during its seed-bearing years. It exhibits rapid growth initially, but is eventually overtaken and replaced by other trees as the forest matures. It is most commonly found on neutral to alkaline soils, but more rarely on acidic soil.<ref name=nagy04/>

Diseases include a leaf spot fungus Didymosporina aceris, a mildew Uncinula bicornis, a canker Nectria galligena, and verticillium wilt Verticillium alboatrum. The leaves are also sometimes damaged by gall mites in the genus Aceria, and the aphid Periphyllus villosus.<ref>Field maple images and diseases</ref>

Cultivation

Maple field illustration

The field maple is widely grown as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens. The wood is white, hard and strong, and used for furniture, flooring, wood turning and musical instruments,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> though the small size of the tree and its relatively slow growth make it an unimportant wood.<ref name=rushforth/>

It is locally naturalised in parts of the United States<ref name=usda/> and more rarely in New Zealand.<ref>Trans. and Proc. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 36: 203-225 Plants naturalised in the County of Ashburton</ref> The hybrid maple Acer × zoeschense has A. campestre as one of its parents.<ref name=afm/>

The tree has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.<ref>RHS Plant Selector Acer campestre AGM / RHS Gardening</ref>

Cultivars

Over 30 cultivars of Acer campestre are known, selected for their foliage or habit, or occasionally both; several have been lost to cultivation.<ref name=gelderen>Template:Cite book</ref>

Bonsai

Leaf

A. campestre (and the similar A. monspessulanum) are popular among bonsai enthusiasts. The dwarf cultivar 'Microphyllum' is especially useful in this regard. A. campestre bonsai have an appearance distinct from those selected from some other maples such as A. palmatum with more frilly, translucent, leaves. The shrubby habit and smallish leaves of A. campestre respond well to techniques encouraging ramification and leaf reduction.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Ma-Ke_Acer campestre">Template:Cite web</ref>

References

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Further reading

External links

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