My top ten (oops, twelve) favourite maples

Posted: October 15, 2010 at 09:13 am Author: Hugh Angus

With so many to choose from, I can’t help but add a couple more examples to my top ten! I hope visitors to Westonbirt this autumn can enjoy identifying these maples on their walks:

1. Acer griseum, paper bark maple. From China. 50 ft tall 20 ft across with great bark and fantastic autumn colour. The best trees are on Mitchell and Broad Drives.

2. Acer davidii, snake bark maple. From China. 40 ft tall 25 ft across, with great bark and good butter yellow in autumn.

3. Acer capillipes, snake bark maple. From Japan. 30 ft tall 15 ft across, with excellent autumn colour. Good examples can be found outside Maples restaurant and along Holford Ride.

4. Acer circinatum, vine maple. From Western USA. 30 ft tall 30 ft across, with lovely autumn colour and attractive small flowers in spring.

5. Acer micranthum (no common name). From Japan. 20 ft tall 15 ft across. Very beautiful bright red colour in autumn. The best trees are to be found in The Link.

6. Acer palmatum 'Westonbirt Red'. A Japanese maple cultivar. 20 ft tall 20 ft across, with fabulous red autumn colour. Best examples are in The Link

7. Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki'. A Japanese maple cultivar. 20 ft tall 20 ft across, with vibrant fabulous red autumn colour. This example colours earlier than 'Westonbirt Red' and the best trees are in and around the Acer Glade area.

8. Acer palmatum 'Katsura'. A Japanese maple cultivar with fabulous pale yellow leaves for several weeks in the spring. Autumn colour is okay but not particularly good. The best examples will be in the National Maple Collection, west of Broad Drive.

9. Acer palmatum 'Eddisbury'. A Japanese maple cultivar. 22 ft tall 25ft across, with leaves that are a lovely butter yellow with red tinges in the autumn and coral red stems in winter. Visit the National Maple Collection for good examples.

10. Acer palmatum 'Seiryu. A Japanese maple cultivar. 30 ft tall 30 ft across, producing lovely dissected leaves all year. Autumn colour is late with a mixture of reds, yellows and golds. Visit the National Maple Collection for good examples.

11. Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium'. A Japanese maple cultivar selected from the full moon maple. 40 ft tall and 40 ft across, displaying every colour you can imagine in autumn. Some vibrant examples will be seen on Holford Drive and the end of Mitchell Drive. They start colouring early and some are in show now.

12. Acer x conspicuum 'Silver Vein'. A hybrid snake bark maple. 40 ft tall 40 ft across, with fabulous bark and large leaves that turn bright yellow in the autumn. See the best examples in The Link, towards the west end.