Trees to look for in November — Field Maple


Field Maple
Photo credit: Tamsin Bent

Where to look

Most often found in hedgerows and on the edge of woods.

Description

 Field Maple (Acer campestre) is a small British native tree. They have small, yellow-green, cup-shaped flowers and confusingly, although the flowers look like hermaphrodites (made up of both male and female parts) they are in fact dominantly male or female! Field maple is insect pollinated but is capable of self-pollination. Once pollinated, they produce green-red winged seeds that look like the classic ‘helicopter’ seeds which are spread (dispersed) by the wind.  In autumn, field maples and maple leaves in general, turn beautiful colours. This is all to do with the colourful pigments in leaves. During the spring and summer, leaves are full of green chlorophyll which allows them to make their own food from sunlight (photosynthesis). Leaves also contain other yellow to orange pigments but these are masked by the greater amounts of chlorophyll. However, in the autumn, because of changes in the length of daylight and temperature, the leaves stop photosynthesising. The chlorophyll then breaks down, making the green colour disappear, and the yellow to orange colours become visible.

For more info see
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/field-maple/

Where we've found Field Maples


Field Maple spottings journal (1 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
10 Nov 2020 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project

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