Acer campestre

Acer campestre, known as the field maple,[2] is a flowering plant species in the soapberry and lychee family Sapindaceae. It is native to much of Europe, the British Isles, southwest Asia from Turkey to the Caucasus, and north Africa in the Atlas Mountains. It has been widely planted, and is introduced outside its native range in Europe and areas of USA and Western Australia with suitable climate.

Acer campestre
Acer campestre in Appennino2
Field maple foliage and fruit
Scientific classification
A. campestre
Binomial name
Acer campestre
Acer campestre range


It is a deciduous tree reaching 15–25 m (49–82 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in diameter, with finely fissured, often somewhat corky bark. The shoots are brown, with dark brown winter buds. The leaves are in opposite pairs, 5–16 cm (2.0–6.3 in) long (including the 3–9 cm (1.2–3.5 in) petiole) and 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) broad, with five blunt, rounded lobes with a smooth margin. Usually monoecious, the flowers are produced in spring at the same time as the leaves open, yellow-green, in erect clusters 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) across, and are insect-pollinated. The fruit is a samara with two winged achenes aligned at 180°, each achene is 8–10 mm (0.31–0.39 in) wide, flat, with a 2 cm (0.79 in) wing.[3][4]

The two varieties, not accepted as distinct by all authorities, are:[3][5]

  • A. c. var. campestre - downy fruit
  • A. c. var. leiocarpum (Opiz) Wallr. (syn. A. c. subsp. leiocarpum) - hairless fruit

The closely related Acer miyabei replaces it in eastern Asia.[3]


Field maple flowers

Field maple

Field maple in autumn, France

Acer campestre 006

Field maple, Germany

Entzia - Acer Campestre 02

Field maple, Spain


Leaves and inflorescence


Leaves and fruits

Acer campestre (4)



The native range of field maple includes much of Europe, including Denmark, Poland and Belarus, England north to southern Scotland (where it is the only native maple), southwest Asia from Turkey to the Caucasus, and north Africa in the Atlas Mountains.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] In many areas, the original native range is obscured by widespread planting and introductions.[10] In North America it is known as hedge maple[11][12] and in Australia, it is sometimes called common maple.[13] In Nottinghamshire, England it was known locally as dog oak.[14]


Acer campestre Weinsberg 20070419 1
Maple field tree, Weinsberg

Field maple is an intermediate species in the ecological succession of disturbed areas; it typically is not among the first trees to colonise a freshly disturbed area, but instead seeds in under the existing vegetation. It is very shade-tolerant during the initial stages of its life, but it has higher light requirements during its seed-bearing years. It exhibits rapid growth initially, but is eventually overtaken and replaced by other trees as the forest matures. It is most commonly found on neutral to alkaline soils, but more rarely on acidic soil.[9]

Diseases include a leaf spot fungus Didymosporina aceris, a mildew Uncinula bicornis, a canker Nectria galligena, and verticillium wilt Verticillium alboatrum. The leaves are also sometimes damaged by gall mites in the genus Aceria, and the aphid Periphyllus villosus.[15]


237 Acer campestre
Maple field illustration

The field maple is widely grown as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens. The wood is white, hard and strong, and used for furniture, flooring, wood turning and musical instruments,[16] though the small size of the tree and its relatively slow growth make it an unimportant wood.[3]

It is locally naturalised in parts of the United States[11] and more rarely in New Zealand.[17] The hybrid maple Acer × zoeschense has A. campestre as one of its parents.[4]

The tree has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[18]


Over 30 cultivars of Acer campestre are known, selected for their foliage or habit, or occasionally both; several have been lost to cultivation.[19]

  • 'Elsrijk'
  • 'Evenly Red'
  • 'Fastigiatum'
  • 'Green Weeping'
  • 'Leprechaun'
  • 'Lienco'
  • 'Marjolein'
  • 'Nanum'
  • 'Pendulum'
  • 'Postelense'
  • 'Pulverulentum'
  • 'Punctatissimum'
  • 'Puncticulatum'
  • 'Queen Elisabeth'
  • 'Red Shine'
  • 'Royal Ruby'
  • 'Ruby Glow'
  • 'Schwerinii'
  • 'Senator'
  • 'Silver Celebration'
  • 'Zorgvlied'


Acer campestre 005

A. campestre (and the similar A. monspessulanum) are popular among bonsai enthusiasts. The dwarf cultivar 'Microphyllum' is especially useful in this regard. A. campestre bonsai have an appearance distinct from those selected from some other maples such as A. palmatum with more frilly, translucent, leaves. The shrubby habit and smallish leaves of A. campestre respond well to techniques encouraging ramification and leaf reduction.[20][21]

Acer campestre 001

Field maple leaf

Acer campestre 002

Leaves and flowers

Acer campestre 003

Field maple, Germany

Acer campestre 004


Acer campestre 007

Foliage in spring

Acer campestre 008

Field maple leaf

Acer campestre 009

Field maple, Hesse, Germany

Acer campestre 010

Field maple leaf

Acer campestris1

Acer campestre

Acer campestrie L ag1

Field maple


  1. ^ Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since].
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  4. ^ a b c Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-212035-6
  5. ^ a b Euro+Med Plantbase Project: Acer campestre Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Acer campestre". Flora Europaea. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  7. ^ Flora of NW Europe: Acer campestre
  8. ^ Den virtuella floran: Acer campestre distribution map
  9. ^ a b Nagy, L.; Ducci, F. (2004). "Acer campestre - Field maple" (PDF). EUFORGEN Technical guidelines for genetic conservation and use: 6 p.
  10. ^ "Online atlas of the British and Irish flora, Acer campestre (Field maple)". Biological Records Centre and Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
  11. ^ a b "Acer campestre". USDA Plants Profile. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  12. ^ "Acer campestre". Ohio State University. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  13. ^ Department of Agriculture, Western Australia: Pests and Diseases Image Library
  14. ^ Wright, Joseph. The English dialect dictionary. 6. London: Oxford University Press. p. 109.
  15. ^ Field maple images and diseases
  16. ^ "Field maple_Woodland Trust".
  17. ^ Trans. and Proc. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 36: 203-225 Plants naturalised in the County of Ashburton
  18. ^ RHS Plant Selector Acer campestre AGM / RHS Gardening
  19. ^ van Gelderen, C.J.; van Gelderen, D.M. (1999). Maples for Gardens: A Color Encyclopedia.
  20. ^ "A. campestre". Bonsai Club International. Archived from the original on November 11, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
  21. ^ D'Cruz, Mark. "Ma-Ke Bonsai Care Guide for Acer campestre". Ma-Ke Bonsai. Retrieved April 15, 2011.

Further reading

  • Chybicki, Igor J.; Waldon-Rudzionek, Barbara; Meyza, Katarzyna (December 2014). "Population at the edge: increased divergence but not inbreeding towards northern range limit in Acer campestre". Tree Genetics & Genomes. 10 (6): 1739–1753. doi:10.1007/s11295-014-0793-2.

External links

Acer campestre 'Carnival'

The Field Maple Acer campestre cultivar 'Carnival' arose from a chance seedling discovered in the Netherlands in 1989.

Acer campestre 'Commodore'

The Field Maple Acer campestre cultivar 'Commodore' is of obscure origin.

Acer campestre 'Compactum'

The Field Maple Acer campestre cultivar 'Compactum' was first described in 1839.

Acer campestre 'Eastleigh Weeping'

The Field Maple Acer campestre cultivar 'Eastleigh Weeping' or 'Weeping Eastleigh Field Maple' is a weeping tree that originated as a seedling at the Hillier & Son nursery, Ampfield, England, and was released in 1980. No trees are known to survive of this cultivar.

Acer campestre 'Elegant'

The Field Maple Acer campestre cultivar 'Elegant' was released by the Gelderse Nursery in Opheusden, Netherlands in 1990.

Acer campestre 'Elsrijk'

The Field Maple cultivar Acer campestre 'Elsrijk' is an American selection made from established city trees in Ohio in 1953, and introduced to the Netherlands in 1985, where it has become the most popular campestre cultivar.

Acer campestre 'Puncticulatum'

Acer campestre 'Puncticulatum', or Weeping Speckled Field Maple, is a weeping tree and a cultivar of Acer campestre, the Field Maple. It was first described by Schwerin in 1893. No trees are known to survive of this cultivar.

Acer campestre 'William Caldwell'

The Field Maple cultivar Acer campestre 'William Caldwell' was cloned from a seedling discovered at Knutsford, England, in 1976 by Donovan Caldwell Leaman, head nurseryman at the now-defunct William Caldwell Nursery. The tree was released to commerce in 1980.

Alsophila aceraria

Alsophila aceraria is a species of moth in the family Geometridae. It is found from south-western Europe and France to Germany, Austria, Italy, western Ukraine, the Balkan Peninsula, the southern Crimea, the Caucasus and Transcaucasus.

The wingspan is 24–33 mm. Adults are on wing from mid October to mid December in one generation per year.The larvae feed on Quercus robur, Quercus petraea, Acer campestre, Fagus, Carpinus and Prunus species. The larvae can be found from April to June. The species overwinters as an egg.

British NVC community W8

NVC community W8 (Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis woodland) is one of the woodland communities in the British National Vegetation Classification system. It is one of the six communities falling in the "mixed deciduous and oak/birch woodlands" group.

This is a widely distributed community. There are seven subcommunities.

Bucculatrix thoracella

Bucculatrix thoracella is a moth of the family Bucculatricidae. It is found in most of Europe (except Ireland, the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula) and Japan (the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu).

The wingspan is 6–8 mm. Adults are on wing in June and sometimes again in August.

The larvae feed on Acer campestre, Acer platanoides, Acer pseudoplatanus, Aesculus hippocastanum, Alnus, Betula, Carpinus betulus, Fagus sylvatica, Sorbus, Tilia cordata, Tilia platyphyllos and Tilia tomentosa. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine consists of a small, full depth, hook-like corridor, usually in a vein axil, with a proportionally large larval chamber. The remainder of the mine is almost entirely filled with frass. The larvae soon leave their mine and start living free on the leaf.

Caloptilia hemidactylella

Caloptilia hemidactylella is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is mostly found in central and northern Europe, although there are recent records from Belgium and the Netherlands. It is a rare species in Great Britain with no reliable records since the 1950s, when it was recorded in Gloucestershire. It is also believed to have been present in Northamptonshire in the 19th century.

The wingspan is about 13 millimetres (0.51 in). Adults are on wing from September onwards.

The larvae feed on Acer campestre.

Ectoedemia louisella

Ectoedemia louisella is a moth of the Nepticulidae family. It is found from Great Britain to Ukraine, and from Denmark to Italy.

The wingspan is 5–8 mm. There are two to three generations per year with adults on wing from April to May and from July to October.

The larvae feed on Acer campestre. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine consists of a short superficial corridor running towards the seed. The seed is eaten out. Attacked fruits remain on the plant.

Gelechia sestertiella

Gelechia sestertiella is a moth of the family Gelechiidae. It was described by Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer in 1854. It is found in Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the Baltic region, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

The wingspan is 13–14 mm. Adults have been recorded on wing from July to August.The larvae feed on Acer platanoides and Acer campestre.

Gypsonoma aceriana

Gypsonoma aceriana, the poplar shoot-borer, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found from Europe to Russia, eastern Turkey and Iraq. It is also present in North Africa.

The wingspan is 13–15 mm. Adults are on wing in July. In Japan, there are two to three generations per year (in June, July and August).

The larvae feed on Populus nigra, Populus nigra subsp. italica, Populus alba, Populus balsamifera, Acer platanoides and Acer campestre. It is a common species in poplar plantations and nurseries. It has been recorded as a pest from Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Older larvae (third instars) bore into buds and below terminal shoots, which are usually destroyed, causing bushy growth of lateral shoots and making young trees unmarketable.

Leucoptera aceris

Leucoptera aceris is a moth in the family Lyonetiidae. It is found from Latvia to the Pyrenees, Alps and Bulgaria. It has also been recorded from Portugal.The larvae feed on Acer campestre, Acer monspessulanum and Acer platanoides. They mine the leaves of their host plant. The mine consists of a small, upper-surface blotch with frass concentrated in a central spot. Pupation takes place outside of the mine.

Nothocasis sertata

Nothocasis sertata is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found in large parts of Europe, but primarily in Central Europe. It is found on altitudes up to 1,400 meters.

The wingspan is 26–30 mm. Adults are on wing from August to October.

The larvae feed on Acer pseudoplatanus and Acer campestre. Larvae can be found in May and June. The species overwinters as an egg.

Perigrapha munda

The twin-spotted Quaker (Perigrapha munda) is a species of moth of the family Noctuidae. The wings are gray, with two closely approximate and very conspicuous dark spots on the disc of the fore wings. a small dark apical mark at the costal edge and a discal spot on the fuscous hindwings. It is found in Palearctic ecozone (All Europe (absent only in the North and in the South), Russia, Asia as far east as Japan).

The wingspan is 38–44 mm. The moth flies from March to May depending on the location.

The larvae feed on Oak, Willow, Populus tremula, Fraxinus excelsior, Acer campestre, Humulus lupulus and Honeysuckle.The nectar-feeding adults visit sallow blossom.

Tiliacea aurago

The Barred Sallow (Tiliacea aurago) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in Europe.

The wingspan is 27–32 mm. The moth flies from September to October depending on the location.

The larvae feed on Beech and Acer campestre.

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