Field Maple

┬ęPhilip Precey

Field maple

Scientific name: Acer campestre
An inconspicuous tree for much of the year, the Field maple comes to life in autumn when its lobed leaves turn golden-yellow and its winged fruits disperse in the wind. Look for it in hedges and woods.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 8-20m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The Field maple is a relatively small tree, often found in hedgerows and woodland edges. Its leaves turn a rich, golden-yellow in the autumn, but for the rest of the year, it is quite inconspicuous. It produces large, winged seeds that are dispersed by the wind in the autumn. It has recently become a popular tree for towns and cities as it is tolerant of pollution.

How to identify

Field maple has dark green, five-lobed leaves, which are smaller and have more rounded lobes than those of Sycamore; they turn golden in autumn. Its small, yellow-green, cupped flowers turn to large, winged fruits when pollinated. The bark of Field maple becomes corky with age.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Traditionally, the wood of Field maple was used for wood-turning, as a veneer and to make musical instruments, such as harps.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to surveying for woodland plants.