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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Acer triflorum - Three-flowered maple

The three-flowered maple is a great little tree rarely seen in SC county. I saw a few for sale at Hidden Gardens at one time and came upon one recently planted in Seacliff area. Hoping it grows well and the owners appreciate a very rare tree. They grow slowly to 20' with a rounded full crown. Will keep most of the lower branches in place which will hide the nice bark.



Leaves are opposite, trifoliate, leaflets about 3" long, somewhat leathery, with red petioles.  Lateral leaflets are unevenly serrated with the outer edge serrated. Fall color is beautiful.






Stems are small, thin, twiggy, but develop exfoliating bark at a young age. Love the buds when they start to expand.



Flowers are in clusters of threes, hence the common name, small, greenish yellow and hardly noticeable.

Fruit is a winged samara that hang almost parallel to one another, about 1.25" long.

Bark is beautiful. Exfoliates in thin sheets that look more like a Heritage birch than a paperbark maple. Older bark does not peel off and turns brown with deep furrows.



Misidentification: Paper bark maple - but the bark is not deep red.

Location:
Aptos
142 Seacliff Dr.

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