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Oregon Vine Maple Acer circinatum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
A-ser sir-SIN-a-tum
Description

Vine Maple is a vine-like deciduous tree or large shrub native to moist woodlands and streambanks in western North America. Circinatum: rounded or circular, referring to the outline of the leaf shape. Considered to be the most useful native tree for the landscape in the Pacific Northwest.  Vine Maple does well in cooler climates, or in shaded locations which are relatively moist. It tolerates a wide variety of soils but prefers a fairly fertile, moist soil that is rich in humus. It is quite hardy but suffers in hot, dry conditions.  It has an upright character in sunny locations but has a delicate horizontal habit in the shade. 

It has a short trunk, and/or several branches turning and twisting from the base of the plant.  It can be found growing naturally in moist woods and along stream banks.  In the home landscape, consider a shady border, naturalizing or as a grouping.

Closely related to Japanese maples.

Often propagates vegetatively by layering.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  When heavily pruned, this plant will lose the delicate grace that it is known for.  It may form a think dense habit, restricting passage.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Burgundy Jewel'
  • 'JFS-Purple'
    New growth is bronze over green
  • 'Little Gem'
    Dwarf shrub, small leaves
  • 'Monroe'
    Deeply cut leaves, great fall color
  • 'Pacific Fire'
    Red bark
  • 'Pacific Sprite'
    Dwarf, multi-trunked, slow-growing
  • 'Sunglow'
    Dwarf, slow-growing, spring leaves are apricot and peach color
'Burgundy Jewel', 'JFS-Purple', 'Little Gem', 'Monroe', 'Pacific Fire', 'Pacific Sprite', 'Sunglow'
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#small tree#deciduous shrub#stream banks#large shrub#woodland#cold tolerant#deciduous tree#fall color yellow#fall color red#fall color orange#sun tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Burgundy Jewel'
  • 'JFS-Purple'
    New growth is bronze over green
  • 'Little Gem'
    Dwarf shrub, small leaves
  • 'Monroe'
    Deeply cut leaves, great fall color
  • 'Pacific Fire'
    Red bark
  • 'Pacific Sprite'
    Dwarf, multi-trunked, slow-growing
  • 'Sunglow'
    Dwarf, slow-growing, spring leaves are apricot and peach color
'Burgundy Jewel', 'JFS-Purple', 'Little Gem', 'Monroe', 'Pacific Fire', 'Pacific Sprite', 'Sunglow'
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#small tree#deciduous shrub#stream banks#large shrub#woodland#cold tolerant#deciduous tree#fall color yellow#fall color red#fall color orange#sun tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    circinatum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western North America
    Distribution:
    AK, CA, OR, WA
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Shade
    Textural
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer normally leave this tree alone.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Multi-stemmed
    Multi-trunked
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    2 winged samara deep red when mature 2" long
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Flowers in clusters of 3-6, perfect or staminate (male), long stalk, sepals deep red, petals greenish white, 6-10 stamens.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Almost round heart-shaped base lobed or toothed leaves. They are 3 to" long and wide with 7 to 9 lobes. Spring growth has a reddish tinge. If planted in the sun red, orange or yellow fall colors will develop. The foliage appears in an elegant tiered pattern.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The trunk is green when young, reddish-brown and smooth as it ages.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Multistemmed
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Heat