Identifying Field Maple in Winter
FIELD MAPLE (Acer campestre)
KEY IDENTIFYING FEATURES IN WINTER
- Buds are in opposite pairs
- Mature bark feels corky under pressure. Try is with your thumbnail.
- "Crocodile back" ridges can be found on young twigs.
- Fallen leaves can be found, they resemble the leaf seen in Canadian flag, which is also a maple.
SIMILAR SPECIES IN WINTER
It can be easy to mistake the Field Maple for these other common species...
Sycamore (Acer Pseudoplatanus)
This tree is also in the Maple family, so has many similarities. Buds are also opposite but are much larger and bright green. Look on the woodland floor, Sycamore leave are typically larger than Field Maple.
Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
This tree is a non-native but commonly planted across the UK. Fallen leaves are typically larger and have more defined, jagged points.
Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)
Also has opposite buds and maple-like leaves. Though they are unrelated. Field Maple can often be shrubby so this is where the confusion could happen as Guelder Rose is rarely not a shrub. Look for pairs of terminal buds on the Guelder Rose. This is often a smaller tree than Field Maple, but not always.