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  Vine Maple
Acer circinatum

A lovely, shade-liking maple, unique to the Pacific northwest. Unlike most maples, Vine Maple typically grows as a shrub with several branches extending from a common base (as opposed to a true “trunk” which defines a tree). Vine Maples have palmate leaves and a growth structure similar to some Japanese Maple. They have small, yet beautiful flowers (yes, they flower!) that mature to a typical wing-shaped seed. Vine Maple leaves, particularly when exposed to sun, produce remarkable red, yellow and orange fall colors. They are a gem of a tree for our small urban, suburban lots.


8-12' in 20 years. Several branches from a common base; only rarely do they have a trunk. Slightly more upright than spreading. A moderate grower that has a more dense structure when in a sunny location.

Readily prunable.

Sun/Shade/Soil Moisture
In the wild, often an under canopy plant growing in the shade or on the forest edge. Occasionally, in full sun, but this is usually after a clear cut or fire. Average to moist soil. Prefers a good layer of duff (leaves, needles, clippings).

Where to plant
Any spot in your yard with full-day or partial-day shade. Think the north or east or west sides of your house, or under or around a larger tree or other shade producing structure.

Once your Vine Maple(s) is/are planted, then consider planting any of the low forest shrubs, ferns and perennials along with them.

Did you know?
• Vine Maples are closely related to Japanese Maples.

• Vine Maples are unique to the Pacific Northwest.
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