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Maple Trees | Acer Tree

Maple trees, or Acer to use the Latin name, are some of our most popular ornamental trees. Acer is a relatively large genus of approximately 128 species of trees and shrubs and over 700 cultivars. We offer a huge range of Acer varieties, including Japanese Maples, Norway Maples, Field Maples and some more unusual choices. We're confident you will be able to find a Maple tree suited to any situation, from cold exposure to sheltered and shaded.

 

Interesting facts about Acer trees

The vibrant colours and distinctive shapes of their leaves make Acer trees a great addition to any garden or planting scheme.

Whilst Acer trees are primarily known for their leaves, they also produce flowers in a range of colours, including green, yellow, orange and red as well as fruits called 'samaras'. Acer fruits are commonly known as 'maple keys', 'whirlybirds' and 'polynoses'. Due to their shape, which is designed to spin as they fall, children refer to them as helicopters. The US army even designed an air drop supply carrier based on this 'helicopter' technique.

 

Acer trees throughout culture

Culturally, the maple leaf has been a common symbol for strength and endurance. It is featured on both the Canadian flag and the Canadian coat of arms. It is also their national tree and is used as the military rank insignia for Canadian generals.

There are many collections of Maple trees, called aceretums. Both the UK and the US have several collections with the largest in the world being in Boskoop, Netherlands. As Acer trees often have attractive autumn foliage colour, many countries have leaf-watching traditions. The Japanese custom of watching Acer leaves change colour is called momijigari. The same tradition is called Danpung-Nori in Korea.

 

Common uses of Maple trees

Beyond their use as ornamental trees, some Maple trees have more practical uses. The ever popular maple syrup is of course made from a type of maple tree (sugar maple - Acer saccharum). It takes approx. 40 litres of sap to make 1 lite of syrup.

Certain species of maple tree make for good timber. Sugar maple is used for making bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, pool cue shafts and butcher's blocks. Known as a tonewood (meaning that is carries sound waves well) it is also used for making several types of musical instruments as it has a brighter sound than mahogany. Maple made instruments include: violins, violas, cellos, double basses, electric guitars, drums and drum sticks.

Maple Trees | Acer Tree
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