31. English Maple

(Acer campestre)

Other Common Names: Field Maple, Hedge Maple, Common Maple.

Family: Aceraceae

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Two English maples are by the wheelchair ramp at the Music building's southeast end. This species is the only Acer native in England, and was the first tree to receive the name "maple." It is cultivated where a tough small tree is desired and is often found in English hedgerows. Its softly lobed leaves lack the elegance and vibrant colors of some maples and change to yellow in November. The seeds are conspicuous in horizontal pairs. The bark is somewhat corky and finely fissured.

The wood is fine-grained, tough, elastic, and hard to split, but it is rarely used for timber purposes because it is such a small species. The wood of the roots is desirable because of its knotted texture. The wood makes an excellent fuel as well as the charcoal. The sap of this maple can be used as a drink or concentrated into syrup by boiling off the water. This syrup has lower sugar content than that of the sugar maple (Acer saccharum).

[Leaves and samaras of English Maple]

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