Dr. Green Thumb Identification

Tree, Plant, Flower & Insect Identification

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 (Maple Family)

Maples grow to 45 meters (145 ft), or occur as shrubs less than 10 meters tall. Most are deciduous, but a few in southern Asia and the Mediterranean region are evergreen. Most are shade-tolerant when young, and are often late-successional in ecology; many of the root systems are typically dense and fibrous. A few species produce root sprouts which can develop into clone colonies.

Maples are distinguished by opposite leaf arrangement. The leaves in most species are palmate veined and lobed, with 3 to 9 (rarely to 13) veins each leading to a lobe, one of which is central or apical. A small number of species differ in having palmate compound, pinnate compound, pinnate veined or unlobed leaves. [1]

Maples are important ornamentals for lawns, along streets, and in parks. They offer a great variety of form, size, and foliage; many display striking autumn color. The red maple (A. rubrum) is one of the most common trees in its native eastern North America, where it tolerates compacted wet soils and city pollution.

Box elder (A. negundo) grows quickly to 30–50 ft (9–15 m) and resists drought, so early prairie settlers planted many for shade and for wood to make crates, furniture, paper pulp, and charcoal. The watery, sweet sap of the sugar maple (A. saccharum) is boiled down for maple syrup and sugar; the wood of certain maples is used for furniture. (literature above from http://www.cirrusimage.com/trees_Aceraceae.htm).

Acer x fremanni - Freeman Maple 
 This tree is a cross of a Red Maple and a Silver Maple.
 Fall leaf colors are brillant red and orange.

Acer ginnala - Amur Maple
 Co-dominents trucks usually.
  A smaller shrub like tree.  
 Fruits are parallel samaras, usually in abundance and ripen in the fall.
 Leaves are oppositely attached, double serrate and 2-3 inches in length. Smaller compared to other maples.
  3 lobed leaves.
 Bark is gray, smooth, and has vertical striations.                                                 
Acer negundo - Boxelder/Manitoba Maple  

 Fast growing and very tollerant.
  Great tree for building forts in.
  Whitish/Blue stem color on new growth.
 The only maple to have pinnately compouds leaves.
  Leaflets are in 3-7.
Acer nigrum - Black Maple
 Very similar tollerance and growth habits to Sugar Maple.
 Coarse bark, dark gray/black with reddish highlights.
  Very large root systems.
  Greater number of lenticels on current growth.
  3 terminal buds.
 Very common for the leaves to curl under.
  Leaves have hairs on the underside of the leaf.
Acer platanoides - Norway Maple
 Symetrical crown that can reach heights of up to 50 feet.
  Terminal buds are prominent and round.
  Abundant spring flowers.
 Grayish black bark with shallow furrows.
 Various leaf color depending  on cultivar.
  Simple leaves with 5-7 lobes that form thin sharp pointed ends.
 Darker purple leaf color represented in cultivars of the  'Crimson King' and 'Crimson Queen' varieties.
 The end of the leaf petial secretes a milky white substance.
 Notice the white substance on the end of the petial.
Acer rubrum - Red Maple
 Up to 70 feet tall with rapid growth.
 Showy red, orange and yellow fall colors.
 Opposite, simple leaves with 3-5 lobes and up to 4 inches long.
Acer saccharinum - Silver Maple
 Up o 80 feet tall, prefers wet areas.
 Furrowed, gray with long scaly strips that can peel away.
 Opposite, simple and palmately 5 lobed with deep sinus.  Under side of leaf is silver.  When you crush twigs there is a rank smell.
Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple
 Moderate growth, up to 80 feet tall with up to a 50 foot spread.
 Gray, wit narrow furrows and sometimes scales.
 Opposite, simple, 5 lobed leaves that look like stars.  Clear substances secreted from petial of leaf.

Acer Saccharum ' Temple's Upright ' - Temples Upright Maple
 Very narrow and tall cultivar grown at the Minnesota Arboritum.
 Very skinny and tall.  Almost looks like a cucumber.
 Opposite, simple, star shaped leaves.  Even more star shaped then the Sugar Maple.
Acer palmatum - Japanese Maple
 Very common tree used in landscapes as a central/focus point to attrack attention. Beautiful varietes and fall colors.  Usually doesn't react well to over watering and prefers well drained soils.