Unlike our non-native boulevard trees (Norway maple), Rocky Mountain maple is shrublike, occasionally reaching small-tree proportions. The delicate, multistem habit creates valuable habitat for nesting birds. Young branches have bright red twigs that look especially spectacular with brilliant gold autumn foliage. The seeds are little winged samaras that often hang on over the winter, providing this delightful shrub with four seasons of garden interest.
This species favors the partial shade of forest understory, but will do fine in full sun if it has been well-established or receives a little extra water (beneath a draining roof eave or downspout is perfect). In very sunny locations, consider planting with a few other shrubs so they can shade each other's roots.
Rocky Mountain maple
- Acer glabrum