Acer campestre, our native Field Maple, is a medium sized tree that boasts many clones to suit differing aspects. The seedling tree has a spreading but rounded crown and rough bark whereas clones such as Lienco and Elegant produce stiffly ascending branches that make them for suitable for urban locations where space is at a premium. Either way the leaf size and colour is the same, green in summer and a lovely buttercup yellow in the autumn before leaf drop.
With the Queens 90th birthday this year what better commemorative tree is there to plant than Acer campestre Queen Elizabeth! This upright native Field Maple is a versatile tree and its narrow form makes it an ideal choice for gardens or avenues where uniformity is needed. A row of 90 may be in order!
If you are after a bit of seasonal leaf colour Acer campestre Louisa Red Shine flushes red before hardening to a dark green. This is repeated with every new flush of growth throughout the growing season making this one of the most attractive options. It forms a more rounded crown when compared to its street form counterparts but remains a very tidy option.
One of the most well-known and popular clonal selections is Acer campestre Elsrijk. However, at maturity it forms a rounded canopy like its parent rather than the oval habit it displays when it’s younger. If you are after a uniform line of Acer campestre, the Elsrijk clone will produce this effect whereas seedling Field Maple will all display slightly different characteristics.
For those of you with very little room to play with there is even a dwarfing clone, Acer campestre Nanum, which is top grafted onto an Acer campestre trunk to form a tight round headed ball of foliage that requires very little maintenance.
Still none the wiser?
You can’t go too far wrong with any of the above as they all thrive in the UK and grow well on most free draining soils. In my opinion the stand out clones are Acer campestre Elegant for towns and cities and Acer campestre Louisa Red Shine for gardens and parks. However, for this year, Acer campestre Queen Elizabeth may be the most apt choice!
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