acer campestre by wendy cutler

Acer campestre Autumn colour by Wendy Cutler

Welcome to my new ‘A-Z’ series on Garden Trees. My recently concluded series on perennials proved to be very popular so I hope that this will be equally appealing to my blog readers and followers. I plan to give a few brief facts on 26 trees that are suitable for gardens, together with a picture or two and how they might be used in the garden. My companion collection of articles called ‘Design my Garden’ will feature a few articles about the different design uses of trees in parallel with this new series.

I will be using various sources for the articles, but much will come from the very useful catalogues of Barcham Trees,a specialist tree nursery in Cambridgeshire I had the pleasure of visiting a couple of years go. So, here we go…..

Common name: Field Maple

Native areas: England

Historical notes: used for making musical instruments in the Middle Ages.

Features: small to medium height tree (10-15 metres) with rounded for. Leaves with 5 blunt lobes, turning varied tints of yellow, golden brown and red in the autumn.  Flowers small, green, forming typical winged maple fruitsCan be grown as a single or multi-stem tree.

Uses: a tree for woodland settings or used in small groups in large open gardens and landscapes especially valuable for its autumn colour; also useful in hedgerows (it is very wildlife friendly and will tolerate rough pruning in winter to keep its shape). Various clones of Acer campestre are well suited to streetscapes and urban settings as they have a more regular shaped crown than the parent.

Growing conditions: grows best in rich, well-drained soils, but will do well in most soil types and is tolerant of drought, soil compaction and air pollution.

Further information:



Barcham trees directory

Old School Gardener