Trident variety ID??

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Trident variety ID??

Post  NeilD3 on Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:18 pm

Couldn't find this variety of trident maple in any books. Please take a look and offer opinions. The tree itself is a park tree, relatively compact and not very large (15-20 ft).

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Re: Trident variety ID??

Post  AlainK on Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:17 pm

To me, it looks more like an Acer monspessulanum (Montpellier maple, not the capital of Vermont, the city in the south of France Wink).

I have several, including one planted in my garden, and the leaves look exactly the same : the leaves are thicker, shinier than Acer buergerianum.

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Re: Trident variety ID??

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Yeah. I don't think it's a trident.

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Re: Trident variety ID??

Post  AlainK on Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:59 pm

I've just been outside when the rain stopped, and here are photos of Acer Monspessulanum (from seeds collected in the south of France).

The younger leaves are more pointed than the old ones, they are sometimes very similar to field maple leaves, especially if the growth is very strong in the spring (wet weather or heavy fertilization for instance):



Older leaves are more rounded:



Another view:



Montpellier maples are good candidates for bonsai, but they grow rather slowly, and the wood being very hard, they are a bit difficult to form.

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Re: Trident variety ID??

Post  NeilD3 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:26 am

Thanks Guys.
That is interesting. I've seen the odd rounded leaf appear on a trident once in awhile...Never thought it would be other than a trident.

How is the growth habit?

Again, thanks for the likely successful identification.

Neil

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Re: Trident variety ID??

Post  AlainK on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:54 pm

Have a look at the article on Wikipedia:
Acer monspessulanum

There's a photo of one for sale on a french site, for 780€ I think it's a rip-off, but the photo show pretty much the look it has in nature: Acer m.

another photo here (exhibition in monaco, 2008) :

Acer m.

There's a very nice bonsai by Václav Novák, nr. 16 on this page: Milan Klika (but if it's a beautiful bonsai, the real tree looks more shrubby, or rounded in nature).

Acer monspessulanum is a xerophilous tree (it likes, and needs heat and a somewhat dry climate), but is hardy to zone 5 when in the ground. I live in zone 8 and I've had one in a hedge for years. I'm not so sure it's as hardy when potted, but it should be OK where you live if you keep the pot under dead leaves up to the first branches for instance.

It prefers a calcareous soil (with limestone), most of those I've seen in their natural habitat were were in a kind of rather poor red-clay like soil with a lot of limestone.

It grows rather slowly and wounds take much longer to heal than on Acer campestre (field maple), a closely related cousin with which it often produces hybrids.

Seeds germinate easily, I've had a success of more than 50% from seeds collected in August.

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Re: Trident variety ID??

Post  NeilD3 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:36 am

Great info and thanks for the links! I'll have to go back and browse them a little more. So, this species may not necessarily be worth the effort of going after a few cuttings, but may make a nice specimen yard tree if I ever run across one in a nursery.

Again, thanks for all the info.
Neil

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