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Classic English Tree for your garden: Field Maple

It is becoming fashionable to plant trees at the moment so why not try?  Otherwise you can ask us to plant the tree for you.  Trees can be grown from seed but it is much easier to buy saplings and plant them instead.  Now is a perfect time to plant trees.  The Field Maple or Acer Campestre is a good tree to plant because being a native tree it is liable to thrive in your garden.  However these trees grow to be too big for smaller gardens.  


These plants are medium-sized deciduous trees.  These plants are native to the UK.  These trees grow to a height of about 800cm.  The ultimate spread of these trees is about 400cm.  These trees have light brown flaky bark.  The twigs of these plants are slender and brown.  The leaves of these plants are dark green and shiny and they have five lobes.  These leaves fade to orange and yellow in the autumn.  Clusters of yellow-green flowers appear in spring.  They are cup-shaped and they hang in clusters.  It should be noted that younger trees are reddish-purple. 
 
 
 
Uses

These plants are regarded as valuable garden plants because of their rich autumn colours of orange and yellow. 

They are ideal for wildlife gardens because they support a wide array of animals.  They support many aphids which in turn support a wide range of predators.  The flowers provide nectar for bees and the seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.  These plants are important understory plants in lowland deciduous woodland in the UK. 
These trees tolerate pollution so they can be confidently located in urban settings.  These trees are appropriate for informal/cottage gardens.  They tolerate sea air so they can be located in coastal gardens. 

These plants require a relatively low amount of maintenance so they are a good choice for those who require a low maintenance garden.  Like most shrubs they take up a lot of nutrients from the soil thereby making the area around their base inhospitable for weeds.  


 
Possible Nuisance

These trees should be located with care to ensure they do not interfere with overhead and underground services.   These trees should be positioned sensibly and growth should be kept in check so they do not become an issue for those using highways.  In addition care needs to be taken to ensure that branches do not overhang public walkways as leaves could potentially cause accidents.  A significant number of leaves fall from these trees during the autumn so we must ensure nearby walkways are free of leaves. 


 
 Growing Conditions

These trees grow especially well on chalky or limestone soils.  These plants grow well in moist but well-drained soil.  These plants also grow well on sandy, loamy or clayey soils.  These plants grow well in full sun or partial shade. These trees favour exposed sites. 
 


Maintenance

Dead and diseased growth should be cut away in spring.  During the first two years of life these plants need to be watered during periods of drought in late spring and summer. 
For the first two or three years of life it is appropriate to add a general fertilizer to the soil around these trees. Such fertilizer should be applied in late winter.  Those trees that are newly-transplanted have not had time to develop extensive root systems so a slow release fertilizer should be incorporated into surrounding soil.  Once established the root systems should gain sufficient nutrients from surrounding soil.  The area around these plants should be kept clear of weeds whilst these trees are getting established.  Weeds can be controlled manual weeding or by applying a mulch. 

It is advisable to apply a mulch to the area around young or newly-planted trees.  A mulch has several functions.  A mulch conserves moisture in the soil that surrounds plants, hence making them better able to cope with periods of dry weather.  A mulch suppresses weeds.  In addition when biodegradable mulches break down plant foods are created and soil condition is improved.  When young these plants may require supporting to prevent wildrock. 



 

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