January 26, 2020

On the Vine

Acer circinatum - Vine maple

Janine Pineo Photo | Acer circinatum – Vine maple

Acer circinatum is a western native, found in less than a 200-mile-wide swath along the Pacific Northwest. Known as vine maple, this plant is considered a large shrub – anywhere from 15 to 25 feet in height – although in some circumstances it can form a small tree up to nearly 60 feet in height. Part of the Palmatum group of maples (think Japanese maples), vine maple is known for its rugged growth habit, interesting bark and strong fall color. Hardy to Zone 4, the plant is considered an understory tree in the forest, where it will tend to vine and sprawl, but in full sun it will become bushier and leafier. The tree also flowers in the spring, sporting a red calyx and yellow petals.