Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Foreigners: Maples and Planes
Walking along the tunnel through the old council tree nursery, I set myself a little puzzle identifying the fallen leaves. Many of the trees in this part of Filnore Woods are not native but were planted here to wait (in vain as it turned out) for a home in one of our streets or parks.
Here we have Norway Maple on the left and London Plane on the right.
Norway Maple London Plane
They're quite hard to tell apart. The London Plane leaves are usually larger and have lobes which are more triangular, pointing forward, and they feel thicker and more leathery. The lobes on Norway Maple leaves are more rectangular, tapering at the end. And the arrangement of the teeth along the edges of the leaves is different.
Just to confuse us, a bit further up the slope there are leaves of the Silver Maple, more finely divided and noticeably paler on the back than the front.
Go and have a look for yourself.
Oh and here's another common but non-native maple, which you will find planted in our streets. The Cappadocian Maple.has much simpler leaves with just five points. and no side-whiskers. It goes a bright yellow in autumn.
I found these leaves under the tree at the entrance to Stafford Crescent. That's a Cappadocian Maple below with a Purple Norway Maple behind it.