It has grey-brown bark with close-set ridges. Its leaves are small, dark green and slightly shiny with brown stalks.
In spring it has small, yellow-green flowers that hang in clusters. These flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and birds. The flowers develop into winged fruits / seeds, which are dispersed by wind.
As it matures and in the autumn, the leaves turn yellow, orange and golden brown.
Field Maples are suitable for most soil types, although it does prefer rich, well drained soils.
The Field Maple is widely planted in hedgerows making it a useful to wildlife.
Mature trees can grow to 20m and live for up to 350 years.
Field maple produces a hard timber, the hardest timber of all European maples. It is a creamy-brown colour with a silky shine. Traditional uses included wood-turning and making musical instruments, especially harps. The wood is often used as a veneer.
Mythology and symbolism
In the Alsace region of France / Germany it was believed that maple branches hung around a doorway could prevent bats from entering the building.