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Introducing Acer


Acer or Maple trees are renowned for their ever-changing foliar colour throughout the seasons and their distinguished opposite leaf arrangement. There are approximately 128 species of Maple, most of which are native to Asia, the remaining from Europe, northern Africa and North America.

At Bowhayes Trees, we offer a range of varieties from Japanese Maple, Red Maple, Norway Maple and some stunning hybrids.

Japanese maples offer up a striking focal point for their bright autumn foliage for any garden and are especially perfect for a smaller-sized garden or grown in a container for a patio. They can come in the form of weeping or upright trees or spreading shrubs. These maples are slow growing and are best left to their own devices to define their individual shape. However, be mindful that Japanese maples can be a little picky about where they get planted. They don’t like windy gardens with alkaline soils or areas prone to drought in summer or waterlogging in winter. Still, as mentioned, some varieties are perfectly suited to growing in a container.

If you have a small area of the garden that is screaming out ‘look at me!’ then we have a fabulous Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’, that has stunning autumnal foliage but also, its spring colours are suitably impressive being pale yellow with bright orange margins and distinctly shaped leaves that curve slightly downwards. We really like Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’, which is low-growing with fine, deeply-cut lobed leaves that takes on wonderful shades of yellow, orange and red during autumn and has a particularly bushy habit. Examples of perfect Japanese maple for container growing are Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’, which is a slow grower with classic green leaves, and fiery scarlet autumn foliage that is long-lasting and would brighten up any space, along with Acer palmatum 'Kinshi’, with a gently weeping habit to form a compact shape with fine narrow filigree leaves that are dark green changing to bronze in autumn.

Red and Norway maples are perfect if you have a bigger garden and want a large ornamental tree. We have selected some truly stunning varieties for their array of foliage colours and sizes, including the beautiful Acer platanoides 'Drummondii', which is arguably the best variegated Norway maple available; working well in any large garden, it's a quick grower and has an attractive rounded habit. These larger varieties tend to be a lot less fussy about where they get planted. They grow in a wide range of well-drained soils and are happy in the sun, but they will require partial shade to prevent the leaves from scorch and require protection from strong winds. Acer platanoides ‘Princeton Gold’ is a fabulous choice for an urban garden for its resistance to air pollution. As with most maples, it’s not just about the foliage! Try Acer griseum for the most unusual bark, peeling, paper-like curls that reveal cinnamon-coloured bark underneath; it really is exquisite.

If it’s a show-stopping colour that you’re after, then a Red maple is a great option, and we love Acer rubrum ‘Brandywine’ for its intensely red and purple foliage. Also, worth mentioning that although this is a large tree, its upright and oval habit makes it ideal for limited space, so a medium-sized garden would happily accommodate this beauty. If you want all-year-round interest, go for an ‘Acer rubrum ‘Scanlon’ with its red twigs, early flowers and outstanding autumnal foliage. When growing Red maples, it is especially best to avoid soil with an Alkaline pH.

Our native maple is called Acer campestre and can be grown as a medium-sized tree. Alternatively, it is often used in countryside hedging as it's fast-growing, resilient and provides seasonal colour across the year.

‘Helicopters’... Well, that’s what we used to call them as children! These are the distinctive maple fruits called samaras that spin as they fall so they can carry the seeds a good distance in the wind.

If you fancy starting your own leafing-watching tradition in your garden, may we suggest you get yourself an Acer!

To learn more about how to care for your trees, call the team on 01404 8122229 or email us at

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