Woodland Trust

Nature's CalendarNature Detectives

Elder buds are starting to burst - have you seen any news leaves yet this year?

Field maple. Margaret Bartonfield maple

Acer campestre


Why not download our field maple fact sheet?

field maple fact sheet

  • Often shrub-like in hedges
  • Can grow up to 20m tall
  • Hard green-brown, fissured bark
  • Leaves in April in opposite pairs, on a leaf stalk with milky sap
  • The lobed leaves show striking autumn colours and are much smaller than the related sycamore
  • Paired, winged fruits, like helicopter blades, are yellow-green tinged with crimson

Field maple leaves autumn tint. Ilene SternsWhere found

Found naturally in lowland England and Wales.

When to look for

Fabulous field maple facts

  • The only native maple in the British Isles

  • The leaves  produce a honeydew that attracts white hairstreak butterflies

  • In Alsatian folklore, branches of field maple around the house ensured protection against bats

  • Popular among bonsai enthusiasts, being easy to grow, with small leaves and good autumn colour

  • The wood was valued for its fine grain and used for wood turning and high quality carving