Identification: maple ID

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Lloyd Serotina, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Lloyd Serotina

    Lloyd Serotina New Member

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    Hello to all plant people. I'm a new participant who has stumbled onto this forum while looking at the Maple Society website. I'm an amateur interested in native species of the PNW.

    I'm looking for a set of distinctive characteristics for identifying Acer circinatum vs. Acer japonicum and Acer pseudosieboldianum. Wikipedia says it is difficult to tell them apart since they are closely related species. I've been thinking that the 2-seeded samara of A. circinatum may be distinctive, especially the angle between the "wings". While researching on the Web, I bumped into a partial download of the identification book What Maple is That? by Peter Gregory and Hugh Angus, but it did not include the section on fruits. I've been unable to find the entire book at my local library or online. However I saw that the book was associated with the Maple Society. I looked there, didn't find it and so here I am. I'd be grateful for any help on making those IDs.

    Thanks for any help or ideas.
     
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I am certainly not going to be the one to answer that question, nor am I going to look through all the resources on our Maple Resources page to see if they'll be of any help, but they're there for you to explore, and as you're going through them, if you have any observations that I should add to the resources descriptions, you're welcome to mention them as a reply in this thread:
    Maple Resources Discussion Thread
    There's a "Discuss this Resource" link on the resource page to the discussion page.

    @Daniel Mosquin, those are two different links above that automatically resolve to the same text. Is there a way to make them different? Is that something I could do?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Change the title of the thread or resource?
     
    wcutler likes this.
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Ah, that was easy. I've edited my posting too.
     
  5. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Talk to the tree..."If" it answers back with:
    -a Korean accent it's Acer pseudosieboldianum
    -a Japanese accent it's Acer japonicum
    -a Pacific NW accent it's Acer circinatum

    On a serious note (a better solution), the best book for ID is "An Illustrated Guide to Maples" worth it's weight in gold. Lots of pictures and great information for ID in all seasons of growth. Check it out at the library and you will find you want to buy it.

    If you can't find the book then (let me know), I can spend some time typing out the difference between all 3, but the pictures and the descriptions in the book are invaluable and will give you a much better understanding in my opinion.

    I just love this book! Every maple enthusiast should own one in my opinion! If you need a moment of Zen, just flip through the pages and take in the beauty of these wonderful trees!

    "Maples of the World" is also a great book but I prefer the beauty and simplicity of "An Illustrated Guide to Maples". You may want to check both out at the library. We own both but most of the time I reach for The Illustrated Guide to Maples because it's a pleasure to use and has great photos over illustrations with easy access to straight forward information vs over loaded jargon. Each book has it's strengths and some may take offense to me putting Maples of the World below An Illustrated Guide to Maples...I just feel that the majority of people out there will find more benefit using the straight forward Illustrated Guide. Whereas the science driven minority or the sleep deprived will find Maples of the world as their go to book.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  6. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The "illustrated guide" is really one of my favorite books, too. It's such a joy to look at, and I usually reach for it before MOW simply because it's faster to find things (although less complete of course).

    Lloyd, welcome. This UBC forum is the official forum of the Maple Society, and the resource Wendy pointed you at has been built up over years by many enthusiasts, whether associated with the MS or not.

    What you found is a slide deck from a presentation at the Maple Symposium in Belgium, on the use of keys to identify maple species. I don't think this ever turned into a book in spite of the title! You can find a very good key at The genus Acer L. (Sapindaceae). | Henriette's Herbal Homepage by Jan De Langhe which also has very useful pictures.

    This years Maple Symposium (they are scheduled every 3 years) is in October in Roscoff, France. A chance to ask your question to the foremost botanists, who will all probably respond that this is a tricky one. :)

    John, any chance we can drag you over for the event?

    -E
     
  7. Lloyd Serotina

    Lloyd Serotina New Member

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    JT -
    Thanks for the response. Wow, I'd love it if the tree did answer verbally. Sadly, I'll need to rely on other evidence. Back to earth now - I actually did find "An Illustrated Guide to Maples" at my local library. I'm still mulling over the information therein. MOW is also available from my library system but I haven't gotten it yet. Thanks for the offer to list the differences between all 3 species , but I *should* be able to do that myself - if I can find the right information sources. However, I might end up asking you to look at my list of differences once I create it. I also found "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees" by More and White which I thought had even better comparative illustrations of the 3 species in question. Unfortunately that book seems to show that leaves and seeds are not very good discriminators between the 3 species since the specimen I'm looking at seems to have leaves and seeds that could be from all 3 species. The range of variation in morphology on one plant is larger than I would have hoped. Seems like the Wikpedia comment I quoted is correct.

    E-
    I have been paging through the Maple Resources as Wendy kindly suggested, no luck yet. I'm starting to think that I need to get flowers and find a really good keying guide that (hopefully) makes clear the differences between the species in the flower morphology. Of course that will need to wait until next spring. So I'm pleased to learn about Henriette's Herbal Homepage, thanks. I will be looking closely at that for the information I need. It is sad that I likely can't justify to my spouse the need to take a trip to France only to find out that I've asked a good, but tricky question. I'm sure it would be fun, but I'd only be confused on a higher level. :)
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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  9. Lloyd Serotina

    Lloyd Serotina New Member

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    Wendy -
    Thanks for those sources. I will be sure to check them out when I proceed with this. Right now I just got committed to another project at home. But
    I do intend to share whatever I eventually find out with this forum.
     

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