How field maple is grown
The field maple (Acer campestre L.) is a tree present in a vast European and Asian range where it grows up to 1,000 m s.l.m ..
In Italy it is present in all regions and very common in mesophilic broad-leaved woods, together with deciduous oaks from sea level to the beginning of the beech forest.
Its reproductive structures are unisexual and bisexual yellowish flowers carried in erect corymbs which develop during foliation. The fruit is a samarium with 180 ° wings.
The propagation of this plant is by seed. The seed needs a period of vernalization to germinate, with 30 days at higher temperatures and 90-180 days at low temperatures.
Acer campestre is a plant that is available in the nurseries where it is sold, one year old with bare root.
These seedlings can be transplanted in the open field or repotted into pots with a diameter of about 9-10 cm.
It is a plant that tolerates sunny or partially shaded locations.
For the plant (which must be carried out at the end of winter) it adapts to any type of soil, while preferring medium-textured and well-drained ones with preferably neutral or basic pH and is on average tolerant to salinity.
If previously grown in pots, a substrate must be created consisting of a mixture of peat and pumice in equal quantities.
Irrigation must be done, avoiding stagnation every time the soil tends to dry up until the young seedlings have formed a good root system. Adult and well rooted plants should be irrigated 2-3 times a year in the summer in particularly drought conditions.
For fertilization, it is advisable to insert a good supply of well-humified organic matter in the hole that is excavated to house the plant and, only in the case of particularly arid soils, to add organic matter every year at the end of the winter period.
As for pruning, it is usually done to give a globose or ovate shape.
Acer campestre is an ornamental species used in gardens and parks as it also tolerates pruning well.
It was once used to support the rows of vines, especially in Emilia.
It is a melliferous plant, much visited by bees for its pollen and nectar, although single-flowered maple honey is rare.
Its leaves are used as forage.
The wood is light, hard and heavy and tends to warp: it is therefore only used for the manufacture of small objects. It is also an excellent fuel. Currently it is used as an ornamental and hedge tree, due to its effectiveness in consolidating landslides. It is also suitable for street furniture in contrasting pollution, due to its high absorption capacity of carbon dioxide and fine dust.
From the medicinal point of view it has slightly anticoagulant properties, helps in the prevention of stones and in the treatment following the manifestations of Herpes zoster; the bark decoction is also used as an intestinal refresher.
In addition, the bark decoction is used in skin erythema; some people use to add a handful of chopped bark to their bath water to refresh the skin.