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 small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Family: Aceraceae
Acer triflorum
Rough-Barked Maple or Three-Flowered Maple

Tag -
54deg 34.943N
5deg 55.823W
This very rare maple is another example of the genus in the maple collection in Belfast Botanic Gardens. It is a small, slow-growing tree from Northern China and Korea with distinctive leaves divided into three separate leaflets and pale grey-brown flaking bark. Like Acer maximowiczii which is close to it in the Botanic Gardens, it usually has spectacular autumn colour. The flowers are in threes, hence the species name. It was introduced in 1923, but rarely seen outside of arboreta and Botanic Gardens. Mature examples are in the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. RHS award of garden merit. The Belfast Botanic Gardens example is near the path from the Botanic School gate to the Palm House.
Unfortunately this tree was in the path of a fallen oak in 2021 and was removed in the clean-up. We hope a replacement for this attractive tree can be found.