Maples & Sycamores
Acers - Maples and Sycamores
Maples or Acers (not to be confused with their smaller and showier Japanese cousins Acer Palmatum) are best known for their highly attractive foliage and bark. The wood of maples can be used for furniture or floorings due to its distinctive honey colouring but it is most arguably its sap that it is most well known for, maple syrup is now common around the world and is said to date back to the 1600's when Settler John Smith noticed Native Americans using a sugar making process to make it.
Maple trees have small inconspicuous of green flowers at the end of each shoots which, once pollinated turn to the characteristic winged fruit that most people will remember playing with in their childhood.
Where to site your Maples
Maples can grow to be large trees so need the room to grow, they are best at the back of the border and can be used to provide a cover above a fence.
How to grow and look after your Maples
Maples like a soil that stays loose and moist but not swampy or thin and rocky as the roots can't anchor properly in the ground. Soil PH is preferred to be on the acidic side and they do not grow well in very alkaline soil, they are also very sensitive to salt levels in the soil and water so do not do well in coastal positions.
Green and purple leafed varieties cope well in full sun but strong sunlight can scorch golden ones.