Maple tree identification

Five common species are shown here. Maple tree identification – five-lobed leaves and winged fruit.  The Norway Maple differs from the Field Maple and Sycamore in that its lobes and teeth have finely pointed tips. It has a winged fruit but the wings hang down at an angle whereas those on the field Maple  are flat. The Japanese Maple leaves have narrow lobes and the Silver Maple has deeply cut leaves.For information on five more unusual Maples click HERE

Field Maple Acer campestre. The leaf has 5 main lobes. The upper side of the leaf is dark green in mid summer. The leaf edges are smooth.

Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus.The leaf has 5 tooth-edged lobes. In comparison, the Field Maple leaves have no teeth and the Norway Maples leaves have very few.

Norway Maple Acer platanoides. The Norway Maple leaf has very fine points on the tips of its lobes and teeth.

Japanese Maple Acer palmatum. The leaf has 5 (or 7) lobes with small teeth. Leaves turn red in autumn.

Silver Maple Acer saccharinum. The leaf has 5 lobes, each with large teeth. The central lobe is cut very deeply towards the central vein.The underside of the leaf is silver.

Field Maple flowers in April

Sycamore flowers in May. Click HERE to see flowers in April

Norway Maple flowers in April. Click HERE  to see flowers in March

Japanese Maple flowers in March

Silver Maple flower in March. Click HERE to see flowers in March

Field Maple winged fruit with ‘flat’ wings

Sycamore fruits hanging down in October. 

Norway Maple winged fruit with the wings hanging down. 

Japanese Maple winged fruit

Silver Maple winged fruit in May

The Field Maple buds are small and the shoots and buds are covered in grey hairs. This is a terminal bud and 2 lateral buds.

Close-up of the Sycamore terminal bud showing the bud-scales. The terminal bud has 2 lateral buds beside it.

Norway Maple buds are deep red/brown

Japanese Maples have tiny red buds  on shoots which are red on one side and green on the other side.

Close-up of Silver Maple buds. Each bud has 3 or more overlapping scales. Photo taken in December.