Maple ID

jfacendolaNovember 20, 2012

I stumbled on this maple tree on a steep wooded bank at a sandy limestone outcrop on the Cape Fear river, in SE North Carolina, just north of Wilmington (zone 8). I don't think it is a common tree around here, as I have never seen one before. After looking over my NC native Acer options, I settled on it maybe being an Acer floridanum, the southern sugar maple? Anyhow, it has fairly "stumpy" lobed leaves compared to most of photos that I could find of this species on the net. Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic. Ideas?

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jfacendola

pic 2

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:54PM
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esh_ga

Or Acer barbatum, another name for it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:59PM
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jfacendola

It looks like I found one outside of its reported range on the usda site. Neat

Here is a link that might be useful: usda forest service

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:09AM
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pineresin

Can you get a close-up pic of a shoot with leaves and buds? Also (even better, if present) a pic of any seeds.

Can't tell for sure on these pics, but it may possibly be naturalised Field Maple Acer campestre (from Europe).

Resin

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:03PM
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wisconsitom

All the tar spot makes me thing platanoides, but the leaves don't look quite right for that.

+oM

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:51PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Chalk Maple Acer luecoderme. A MUCH underused tree.

From Wiki:
Acer leucoderme (English: Chalk Maple; also Whitebark Maple), is a deciduous tree native to the southeastern United States from North Carolina south to northwest Florida and west to eastern Texas. It lives in the understory in moist, rocky soils on river banks, ravines, woods, and cliffs. Although generally a rare tree, it is common in the inner coastal plain and Piedmont regions of Georgia.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Chalk Maple

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:50PM
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esh_ga

Fall color is not quite right for Acer leucoderme which tends to have pinks and oranges mixed with the yellow.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:10PM
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jfacendola

I grew up in New England in a yard filled with Norway maples and their thousands of seedlings. I think this is why this tree caught my eye when I was going 30mph down the river in a boat. I had to turn around and check it out, as I have not seen another maple like it growing in coastal NC. I did steal one of the numerous seedlings from the bluff and potted it up. Attached is a close up of a bud and stem of the kidnapped seedling, but no seeds to be found on the tree.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:31PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

If heavily shaded, Chalk could be yellow. I will have to check the buds on our Chalk Maples to see if they match the photo. The bark on the stem in the background of picture #2 looks right for Chalk maple too.

jfacendola, you can try looking at the link below to see if it helps any. Leaf hairs etc can be very useful in ID.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Chalk Maple

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:14PM
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pineresin

Thanks! Safe to exclude Field Maple, the bud is wrong for that.

Resin

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:01PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

I would've guessed Field maple from the top pic too.

The best way to ID chalk maple is the trunk -- smooth and whitish compared to sugar maple.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:09AM
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esh_ga

Pubescence on the back of the leaf is a characteristic of chalk maple in particular. They have a soft, fuzzier feel that southern sugar maple (A. barbatum) has less of. A. barbatum also has a fairly light colored trunk when young so trunk color alone is not a good indication.

Apparently one distinguishing factor between the two is A. barbatum leaves are glaucous; that may not be apparent now, however.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 4:59PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Sorry for the slow reply and post of pics. Holiday and famly stuff and all that gets in the way of my tree obsession sometimes. Anyway, here are the best two pics I got yesterday of the buds of our Chalk Maples. They look like a close match to the OP to me. But you decide.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:02PM
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calliope(6)

Geesh........that'a a maple I don't have.........now I gotta have me one.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:55PM
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jfacendola

The couple of leaves left are getting pretty crispy but I did manage to get an ok close up of an underside. There are small hairs on the back, but not quite to the point of being fuzzy. It looks like there is some glaucousness left. A. barbatum it is?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:41PM
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