Tree Following – Germany’s Tree of the Year 2015: the Field Maple

The German Tree of the Year is named by a Foundation (Baum des Jahres – Dr. Silvius Wodarz Stiftung) in a similar way to the Flower of the Year, which I posted about recently. The aim is to draw attention to the tree and inform people about it, with information leaflets and activities, for children in particular.

When I realised that the tree chosen as our Tree of the Year is one that stands proudly in my garden, I decided to start “tree following”; over the past few months I have read with interest about various blogging friends’ trees, posted as part of the Loose and Leafy tree following meme. I was too late to join in for January, so I shall link to Lucy’s meme today for February. Here’s a photo taken just recently.


Acer campestre, commonly known as Field Maple, or in German Feldahorn

This photo was mid-January, before the snow.


It is the smaller brother of the maple trees, often with several trunks, too small for use by the forestry industry. In fact sometimes it looks barely more than a shrub. At a rough estimate, ours has been standing for at least 30 years. We use one of the three trunks, along with a nearby birch, for one of our hammocks in the summer (maybe you can spot the rope around the trunk, although we don’t notice it any more!). Our maple is a pretty shape as it has fortunately had enough space around it to grow upright.

I shall look forward to sharing more pictures with you as the year progresses.

Do you have Field Maples in your neighbourhood?

How about joining in with Lucy’s meme? All the instructions about how and when can be found on her special page here.

Thank you for hosting, Lucy!

46 thoughts on “Tree Following – Germany’s Tree of the Year 2015: the Field Maple

  1. We have lots of Field Maples here, they are used a lot as hedging in Devon and we have a few trees in the garden. They are very noticeable in the autumn when the leaves turn a lovely buttery yellow.

    • Hi Pauline. I discovered that I haven’t had notification of any of your posts for ages so I have resubscribed and have been catching up. We have lots of field maples in hedges here too, so this one stands out a bit because of its shape.

  2. An inspired choice. In the UK it is normally used in a mixed hedge, but obviously makes a handsome specimen in the garden. I will look forward to seeing it come into leaf.

  3. I didn’t know they get that big!
    This should be an interesting year, I love watching trees go through their seasonal changes. Have you ever seen the variegated versions of field maple? They’re so tempting in the catalogs but border on the “too much” category πŸ˜‰

    • I didn’t know there are variegated ones. I just assumed they all look the same. Most of the hedgerow ones are smaller, but there are plenty of larger ones on the wooded hillsides here too.

  4. You find such interesting ideas, Cathy. I love the idea of a tree of the year. I’m also inspired to single out one of our trees and do the same. Thanks for writing about your beautiful specimen. We have an Acer known as a Japanese Maple. The color is extraordinary.

    • The Japanese maples do have lovely colour. This one is a lovely yellow in autumn. It would be lovely if you joined in too Alys, as I find it so interesting seeing what grows in your part of the world with your mild winters and dry climate. πŸ™‚

    • It looks best in early summer of course. The shape of this one is very nice. I wonder if you have thought about which tree you will follow next… πŸ™‚

    • I think they are often overlooked in hedges as they tend to stay small. I will learn a lot this year as I am not very good in determining which trees are what!

  5. Oh now that’s a fine choice Cathy. I look forward to getting to know your tree better over the next year. I don’t think that there are any in our neighbourhood but then I’m hopeless at recognising trees without their clothes on.

  6. Here in NY we planted a native Red Maple in our backyard and love watching it change through the seasons. I would have planted a sugar maple but apparently you need *many* of those to produce a crop of maple syrup. (Oh well!) Enjoy your beautiful tree!!!

  7. I’ve never knowingly seen a Field Maple around here. Do they have good fall color? In our garden we have a big Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), which is a tree that has its pluses and minuses.

    • This is one that isn’t usually planted in gardens, but grows wild or is used in hedges. Ours most probably sowed itself here from the surrounding woodland. It has lovely yellow leaves in autumn, but sometimes suffers if it’s a dry year.

  8. I have several field maples in the garden. I wondered if they were self sown from the hedge. It is a nice tree to follow.
    Glad to see that you are a fellow hammocker. There is nothing quit like it on a warm summer’ s day.

    • I shall look forward to the hammock this summer… hardly used it last year! I think our field maple was also a self seeder as it stands at an odd place where the original garden (before our time) had a mini stream.

  9. I’m not at all familiar with field maples, but i love the density in the branches that silhouette against the sky. I have never heard of ranking a “Tree of the Year,” either, but it’s a wonderful tradition. I will look forward to really getting to know your own wonderful specimen. I’m sure it is very happy in your beautiful garden. πŸ™‚

    • Hello Debra! I will be looking at this tree in a new light as I follow it over the next 12 months, and I hope you enjoy getting to know it with me! Hopefully there will be some information to glean from the press about this tree this year since it is being highlighted. Thank goodness for the internet though, where I have already found some facts about this maple and will share over the coming months. πŸ™‚

  10. As everyone has already said, we see this more in hedges here (in Wales) than as standalone trees. I have some small ones in the wilder part of my garden.
    Yours is a lovely shape.
    I look forward to following your blog!
    All the best πŸ™‚

  11. There is something breathtaking about a bare tree. I love trees all year round, but the trees in winter… I can’t help wanting to tiptoe as I walk by them in order to not disturb their slumber.

  12. Pingback: Tree Following: March 2015 | Words and Herbs

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