Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree archive
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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the BCC black tree maintenance tags, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Family: Sapindaceae
Acer opalus Mill.
Italian maple

Black tag 211
54o 34.991N
5o 55.914W
by Philip James Smyth
A fine specimen of this species is growing on the East Walk as part of the Acer collection established as long ago as 1830. A. opalus is native to Southern Europe and its common name is the Italian Maple.

Our tree is around 45ft high and has a girth of 6ft 6in at one metre from the ground. A decorative parkland tree that has a beautiful billowing effect with its branches. The sulphur yellow flowers appear at bud burst and cover the tree, creating a great splash of colour especially in the spring sun.

It is an early flowering tree usually mid- to late-March. However in 2007 the first splash of colour started the last week in February. The winter was so mild with very little frost resulting in plants not doing what they should.

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2007. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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