Maple

The field maple is the only maple in the UK that is a native tree. It is a popular garden tree due to its compact habit and attractive autumnal foliage. The leaves fade to a rich gold before falling in the autumn. It is often seen in parks and gardens and it is a great addition for a range of different styles of garden. What you may not known is that, like all maples, syrup can be made from the sap.

Growing maple:

Field maples will do well in full sun or partial shade and thrive in an exposed location. They will grow well in any fertile ground where the soil is moist yet well-drained. They will tolerate a wide range of soil types and pH though in nature they are more commonly found on chalk downland.

Field maples are sometimes used in informal mixed hedging or as a shrub but are delightful as mid-sized trees allowed to grow to maturity. There are a number of varieties available, some larger, some smaller, some with ornamental stems.

A variety of different field maples can be found in garden centres and plant nurseries. Field maple can also be grown from seed if you wish, though as usual with trees, inexperienced gardeners are probably best advised to simply buy the saplings to avoid many potential pitfalls and to save time.

Mature field maples can grow up to 20m, though many garden specimens are much smaller than that. They can live for as long as 350 years in the right conditions. These can be a great tree to choose as specimen pieces in a mid to larger size garden and are fantastic for adding biodiversity in an informal wildlife garden.

Why grow maple in the garden?

You might be interested in this tree as an attractive and decorative addition to your garden but you should also know that field maple has a variety of different uses. It is home to several different types of moth caterpillarsas well as other insect life. The flowers are a good source of nectar and pollen for bees and birds and the fruit is a source of food for small mammals.

Field maple has he hardest, most dense timber of all the European maples and yields as attractive timber that has traditionally been used for wood carving and for making musical instruments like harps, amongst other uses. The wood polishes to a fine gleam and is also often used as a veneer.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Acer campestre