Maples are generally medium-sized trees, although this genus, belonging to the Sapindaceae family, brings together more than one hundred species, including shrubs that do not exceed one meter, and large trees that can reach 30 meters in height; apart from a single species, originating in the southern hemisphere, all the other species of Maple tree they originate in Asia, Europe and North America.
Although they exist maples evergreens, in parks and gardens we often find maples deciduous leaves; first of all because the species that lose their leaves in winter are much more numerous; secondly because many species and varieties of Maple tree widespread in cultivation they take on a splendid coloring of the foliage in autumn, which can vary from the gold rooster to the burgundy red.
Most of the maples also have palmate and lobed foliage, clearly marked by veins, often in a darker color; there are species with whole and non-lobed leaves, but typically the maple leaf has five lobes, and some species can go up to seven or nine lobes; there maple leaf the most representative of the genus is that present on the Canadian flag, with three well-defined lobes.
There are many species of maple grown in the garden, although certainly the most common is acer palmatum, or acer japonicum, because they are small specimens, which often do not exceed one meter in height, and therefore can also be placed in gardens of modest size or on the terrace, in pots. The flowers of the maple are not very showy, green, red, or orange in color, and often appear just before the leaves, in spring, or together with them; these are not large and decorative flowers, but simple flowers, gathered in corymbs; they become showy only when the tree is in full bloom, because the whole life is certainly particular.
Some species of mapleAcer negundo
Originally from North America, acer negundo is one of the most particular maple species, as it has pinnate leaves, usually consisting of three leaflets, but also seven or one leaflet; the most widespread variety is acer negundo "Flamingo", with streaked and variegated leaves. Acer negundo leaves turn golden yellow in autumn.
This maple is dioecious, therefore, if we want it to produce seeds, we must have a female and a male specimen, because the flowers of the two sexes grow on different plants. This maple is easy to grow and fast growing; it quickly reaches 15-20 m in height, although it often tends to produce multiple trunks, which give rise to small groves, which do not exceed 10 meters in height. The cultivar varieties tend to remain smaller, becoming interesting also for small or medium sized gardens. It doesn't fear cold weather, and tends to develop in any soil, provided it is well drained, and in a sunny position; these trees do not like shade.