|Vine maple leaves and flowers|
|Section:||Acer sect. Palmata|
|Series:||Acer ser. Palmata|
It most commonly grows as a large shrub ranging from 5 to 8 metres (16 to 26 feet) in height, but it will occasionally form a small to medium-sized tree, exceptionally to 18 m (59 ft) tall. The shoots are slender and hairless. The trunk rarely grows more than 25 centimetres (10 inches) thick.
The leaves are 3 to 14 cm (1+1⁄4 to 5+1⁄2 in) long and broad, opposite, palmately lobed with 7 to 11 lobes, almost circular in outline, and thinly hairy on the underside; the lobes are pointed and with coarsely toothed margins. The leaves turn bright yellow to orange-red in autumn. The flowers are small, 6 to 9 millimetres (1⁄4 to 3⁄8 in) in diameter, with a dark red calyx and five short greenish-yellow petals; they are produced in open corymbs of 4 to 20 together in spring. The fruit is a two-seeded samara, each seed 8 to 10 mm (5⁄16 to 3⁄8 in) in diameter, with a lateral wing 2 to 4 cm (3⁄4 to 1+5⁄8 in) long.
Vine maple trees can bend over easily. Sometimes, this can cause the top of the tree to grow into the ground and send out a new root system, creating a natural arch. This characteristic, known as layering, allows vine maple stands to grow quickly, and makes vine maple a good contender for secondary succession after a woodland overstory disturbance.
Acer Circinatum belongs to the Palmatum group of maple trees native to East Asia with its closest relatives being the Acer japonicum (fullmoon maple) and Acer pseudosieboldianum (Korean maple). It can be difficult to distinguish from these species in cultivation. It is the only member of the Palmatum group that resides outside of Asia.
Distribution and habitat
It can be found from southwest British Columbia to northern California, usually within 300 kilometres (190 miles) of the Pacific Ocean coast, found along the Columbia Gorge and Coastal Forest. It can found no further inland than the east side of the Cascade Range. It typically grows in the understory below much taller forest trees or at the edges of such forests, but can sometimes be found in open ground, and occurs at altitudes from sea level up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft).
Various birds and mammals eat the seeds of this species.
Vine Maple bonsai.
Flower with reddish calyx and five short petals.
The fruit is borne in pairs. With wings nearly 180 degrees apart, it is initially green, later becoming reddish (shown) to brown.
Autumn foliage of Acer circinatum.
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- Buckley, A. R. (1980). Trees and Shrubs of the Dominion Arboretum. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa.
- University of Alabama, Huntsville: Oregon Vine Maple at UAH Arboretum Archived February 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
- Media related to Acer circinatum at Wikimedia Commons