Acer triflorum

Acer triflorum
Acer triflorum 
three-flowered maple
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
 medium-sized tree
USUAL HEIGHT 4-6m
USUAL WIDTH 3-5m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
LOCATION full sun to shade
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
USDA zone (lowest) 3   (down to -40°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Trees
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Three-flowered maple comes from northeastern China and Korea and has been in cultivation from 1928. It is one of the few trees that has no varieties or selections so far – it does not seem variable and all its seedlings show identical traits. It is similar to another species – paperbark maple (a. griseum) which also offers attractively peeling bark.

Three-flowered maple gained its name thanks to its inflorescence composed of three small, light yellow, hanging flowers, that are followed by samaras – winged seeds 3-4 cm long. They are not weedy so you needn’t worry about infesting the garden with its seedlings. The leaves are composed of 3 narrowly ovate leaflets with several short notches at the margins. They emerge coppery red in spring and quickly turn lush green, just keeping the stalks coral red. In autumn, they make a breathtaking show of gold, amber orange, scarlet red, and crimson red. This maple is one of the few that can colour well even in shade. Its orange-brown peeling bark later reveals a shallowly furrowed, slightly cork-like trunk.

It grows slowly and naturally forms multi-stemmed shrubs with a domed to broadly spherical crown in maturity. It looks best if you clear the framework from thinner lateral twigs to the height of about 1-2 m from the ground to expose the beautiful wood. Its smaller size makes it a great choice for small gardens and front yards, which, especially in autumn, glows from a distance. It is often used among bonsai makers. In the garden it usually grows between 6 and 7 tall and just a bit less wide, while in the nature under ideal conditions it can grow twice as large.

Three-flowered maple is not picky about soil type but prefers acidic and evenly moist soil to colour well in autumn. Pruning is not needed but possible in frost-free periods of winter. You can grow it in full sun and shade, where it will be a bit thinner, but it will also offer beautiful autumn colors. It is very hardy and can withstand about -38 °C and can also be grown in outdoor containers.

Last update 10-11-2021
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Acer triflorum height 175-200 cm, width 40-50 cm
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GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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