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Vine Maple
Acer circinatum

About Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) is a species of maple native to western North America, from southwest British Columbia to northern California, usually within 300 km of the Pacific Ocean coast. It most commonly grows as a large shrub growing to around 5-8 meters tall, but it will occasionally form a small to medium-sized tree, exceptionally to 18 meters tall. The shoots are slender and hairless. It typically grows in the understory below much taller forest trees, but can sometimes be found in open ground, and occurs at altitudes from sea level up to 1,500 meter.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
15 - 30 ft (4.6 - 9.1 m)

Max. Width
3 - 6 ft (0.9 - 1.8 m)


Growth Rate
Moderate, Slow

Winter Deciduous

Bright green in spring and summer, spectacular red and yellow in autumn

Flower Color
Green, Red, Yellow

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Stream banks, forest understories, canyon bottoms

Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
15' - 13508'

Annual Precip. ?
16.4" - 135.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.47" - 4.72"

Coldest Month ?
8.4° F - 51.9° F

Hottest Month ?
32.1° F - 75.1° F

Humidity ?
0.26 vpd - 24.01 vpd

Soil Description
Fine with many types of soil as long as well draining.

Soil Texture
Clay, Clay Loam, Loam, Loamy Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Silt, Silt Clay Loam, Silt Loam, Silty Clay

Soil PH
5.5 - 7.5

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0 - 20° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20

Wildlife Attracted
Deer, elk, many birds. Flowers attract birds, butterfly and moths.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist

May be pruned to keep as a dwarf tree, or even as a bonzai.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Scarification, 1-2 mos. warm, and 3-6 mos. cold stratification; when periodic checks during cold stratification indicate incipient germination, the whole lot should be sown ( USDA Forest Service 1974). Use fresh seeds.

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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