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THE FIELD MAPLE.
(Linnæus, Species Plantarum.
DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
Don, Miller's Dictionary.
Selby, British Forest Trees.
Chioppo, Stucchio, Festucchio, Fistuc- } ITALY.
chio, Albero da vite, Field Maple,
BRITAIN AND ANGLO-AMERICA.
Derirations. The specific name, campestre, is derived from the Latin campus, a field, having reference to this tree as growing about hedges and open fields. The French, German, and English names have the same signification.
Engravings. Selby, British Forest Trees, p. 27; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, i., figure 132, p. 453, et. V. pl. 43; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Leaves cordate, with 5-toothed lobes. Racemes erect. Wings of fruit much divari"cated.—Don, Miller's Dict.
moon HE Field Maple,
& under favoura-
a voble circumstances, forms a tree of the second or third order, with a handsome outline, and picturesque appearance. In its natural habitat, it seldom exceeds the height of twenty feet, although in a state of cultivation, it often attains nore than double that elevation.
Varieties. In the Acer campestre, we recognize six forms or varieties, which may be described as follows:
1. A. C. HEBECARPUM, Loudon. Downy-fruited Field Maple. This variety is the form usually regarded by British authors as the type of this species, and is characterized as rather a small tree, with spreading branches; the bark corky, and full of fissures; that of the branches smooth. The leaves about one and a half inches broad, downy while young, as are their footstalks, obtusely fivelobed, irregularly notched, and sometimes quite entire. The flowers grow in clusters, which terminate the young shoots; they are hairy, erect, short, somewhat corymbose, and of a green colour. The anthers are hairy between the lobes. The capsules downy, spreading horizontally, with smooth, oblong, reddish wings.
2. A. C. FOLIIS VARIEGATIS, Loudon. Variegated-leaved Field Maple. This variety is considered as the handsomest of all the variegated-leaved maples.
The leaves are blodchod and triped with white, or whick-yellow, and provato
The leaves are blotched and striped with white, or whitish-yellow, and preserve their vegetation with a healthy appearance.
3. A. C. COLLINUM, Loudon. Hill-inhabiting Field Maple. This variety is a native of France. The fruit is smooth; the lobes of the leaves obtuse, and the flowers small.
4. A. C. AUSTRIACUM, Loudon. Austrian Field Maple. This variety, as its name imports, is a native of Austria ; also of Podolia and Tauria. It is larger in all its parts than the Acer campestre hebecarpum, and is of much freer growth. The trunk rises erect and straight, and sends out its branches regularly on every side, so as to form a cone, almost like a fir-tree. The lobes of the leaves are somewhat acuminated, and the fruit is smooth.
5. A. C. LÆVIGATUM, Loudon. Smooth-leaved Field Maple. 6. A. C. NANUM, Loudon Dwarf Field Maple.
Geography and History. The Acer campestre is found throughout th: middle states of Europe, and in the north of Asia. According to Pallas, it abounds in New Russia, and about Caucasus. It is common in hedges and thickets in the middle counties and south of England; but in the northern counties, and in Scotland, it is rare. It is not indigenous to Ireland, and perhaps not to Scotland.
The largest tree of this species in Britain, and possibly on the globe, is at Blairlogie, in Stirlingshire, which, in 1835, was three hundred and two years old, fifty-five feet high, with a trunk four feet in diameter, and an ambitus or spread of branches of forty-five feet. Another tree at Braystock, in Essex, had arrived at the height of fifty feet in eighty years.
In France, in the botanic garden at Toulon, there is a tree of this species, which attained the height of forty-five feet at forty-eight years after planting.
In Saxony, at Wörlitz, there is an Acer campestre, which attained the height of forty feet, in sixty-five years after planting.
This species was introduced into the United States in 1822, by the late Mr. Prince, of Flushing, New York, and may be found in the American nurseries and collections.
Soil, Situation, foc. A dry soil suits the Acer campestre best, and an open situation ; but, to attain a timber-like size, it requires a deep, free soil, and a situation sheltered by other trees. In nurseries, plants of this species are raised from seeds, most of which often remain eighteen months in the ground before they come up, though a few vegetate the first spring. The varieties are propagated by layers.
Insects, fc. There are but a few insects or their larvæ which appear to feed upon the leaves of this species, with the exception of a small, dark-green aphis; and the tree is not much liable to accidents and diseases. Loudon observes that the misletoe is sometimes found growing upon it.
Properties and Uses. The wood of the Acer campestre, when allowed to become a tree, and of a proper age, is very compact, possesses a fine grain, sometimes beautifully veined, and is susceptible of a high polish. When dry, it weighs fifty-two pounds to a cubic foot. It makes excellent fuel, and produces charcoal of the best quality, which is sometimes employed in the manufacture of gunpowder. It was celebrated among the ancient Romans for tables; and Pliny, who has treated at length upon the brusca and mollusca, the names under which She knobs and excrescences of this tree were known, informs us that cabinetwork of the most costly description was fabricated from them. In France, and other European countries, it is still extensively used by turners, carvers, and cabinet-makers, and the wood of the roots, which is often knotted and curiously marbled, is wrought into snuff-boxes, pipes, and various other articles of fancy.
The British poets generally place a maple dish in every hermitage they speal of. Wordsworth, in his " Ecclesiastical Sketches," says:
“Methinks that to some vacant hermitage
Wilson and Cowper both furnish the hermit's cell with the article so requisite for such a habitation :
“Many a visitant
His dwelling a recess in some rude rock,
* * * * * It seemed a hermit's cell,
Yet void of hour-glass, skull, and maple dish." The young shoots of this tree, being tough and flexible, are employed by coachmen, in some parts of France, instead of whips. In that country it is also much used for forming hedges, and for filling up gaps in old fences. It is advantageously employed in topiary works, and in geometrical gardens, being found to bear the shears better than most other trees. The leaves and young shoots are gathered green, and dried, for winter provender for cattle. The sap yields more sugar, in proportion to the quantity taken, than that of the sycamore
veneric Characters. Sexes diæcious. Flowers without a corolla. Calyx with 4-5 unequal teeth. Male flowers upon thread-shaped pedicels, and disposed in fascicles; anthers 4-5 linear, sessile, Female flowers disposed in racemes. Leaves impari-pinnately divided. —De Candolle, Prodromus
HIS genus was constituted by Mench from the Acer negundo of
same natural family. No other genus, has hitherto been discovered, or recorded as belonging to the order Aceracæ, either of a hardy or tender pature.
Michaux, North American Sylva.
(Nuttall, Genera of North American Plants. Negundo fraxinifolium,
DE CANDOLLE, Prodromus.
LOUDON, Arboretum Britannicum.
TORREY AND GRAY, Flora of North America.
Derivations. The meaning of the word Negundo, is unknown. It is supposed by some to have originated among the Frenca of Illinois, and had some connection with the tremulous and playful motions of the long pinnated leaves of this tree. The Tibinois name, Erable à giguières, signifies, literally, Romping or Frisky Maple. The specific name, aceroides, is derived from the Latin acer, a maple, and the Greek eidos, resemblance, and was originally applied by Mench, from the analogy this species bears to the maples. The specific name, fraxinifolium, is derived from the Latin frazinus, the ash, and folium, a leal.
Engravings. Michaux, North American Sylva, pl. 46; Loudon, Arboretum Britannicum, v., pl. 46; and the figures below. Specific Characters. Leaves of from 3 to 5 leaflets, the opposite ones coarsely and sparingly toothed, the
odd one oftener 3-lobed than simple.-De Candolle, Prodromus.
ROMHE Negundo fraxinifoli
um, in favourable situa
tions, attains a height of
W forty or fifty feet, with a diameter of fifteen to twenty inches. The bark of the trunk is brown, the inner portion of which has a disagreeable odour; and that of the young branches is of a smooth, rush-like appearance, interrupted only by a few buds, and is of a beautiful pea-green, like the shoots of the Jasminum officinale, but on a larger scale. The trunk ramifies at a small distance above the ground, and forms a loose, and wide-spreading head. The leaves are opposite, and from six to fifteen inches long, according to the vigour of the tree, and the moisture of the soil in which it grows. Each leaf is composed of two pair of leaflets, with an odd one. The leaflets are petiolate, oval-acuminate, and sharply toothed. Towards autumn, the common petiole becomes of a deep red. The flowers are produced profusely, in April or May, and appear with the leaves. They occur in slender pendulous racemes, are small, and of a green colour, which renders them difficult to be seen, unless they be closely watched in the flowering season. The racemes of fruit, that succeed the flowers, increase gradually to the length of six or seven inches, and as the season advances, they appear conspicuous among the foliage.
Variety. According to Loudon, there is a variety of this species growing in the arboretum of the London Horticultural Society, called Negundo f. crispum,