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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Acer ginnala - Amur Maple

I ran into a specimen of the Amur Maple while cutting through the Soquel School. Not at all common in SC. The Amur maple is a nice little tree growing to maybe 20' tall with potentially great fall color. Often grown as a multi-stemmed specimen or can be trained as a single stem. A cultivar called 'Flame' has great fall color.



Sorry, old picture with low resolution, but shows the fall color.



Leaves are deciduous, simple, opposite, ovate shaped, with serrated margins, sometimes considered to be lobed with a prominent central lobe. Leaves are 2-4" long. 




Leaves can be quite variable in size as well as being very lobed or only slightly serrated. Age and rate of growth seem to be the deciding factor, with older slower growing plants showing smaller less deeply serrated margins.


Flowers are produced in spring, light green or yellowish, in chains, slightly fragrant. 



Fruit is typical of maples, paired samaras. The pairs hang almost parallel to each other and one is generally much smaller than the other. In summer they can be bright red. 




Bark is dark gray and usually pretty smooth but as they age they develop some longitudinal furrows. 


Also know as Acer tataricum ginnala.

Misidentification:
Not likely

Location:
Capitola
On Porter St at the Soquel School, near the east end of the campus close to the building.

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