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Acer Rufinerve is a variety of Snake Bark Maple that is extremely desirable for its autumn colour and distinctive green bark which will provide considerable winter interest. This small, attractive deciduous maple tree will add interest to the garden all year round.
Native to Japan, Acer Rufinerve has been grown in the UK since the 1880’s, and is a very popular variety, both for its small size and striking bark. In spring, the 3-lobed leaves up to 12 cm long emerge, followed by erect racemes of small yellow flowers in April or May. The long strings of winged seed pods add visual interest through the summer. In autumn the leaves turn brilliant red or yellow. In winter the bark of the Snake Bark Maple takes centre stage, with its distinctive olive green surface striated with vertical creamy white lines adding considerable winter interest.
Acer Rufinerve is hardy throughout the UK, even in severe winters, and will grow to a height of 7 metres and spread of 5 metres in 20 years, before reaching a mature height of 8 metres and spread of 8 metres in 50 years. It requires little or no pruning to maintain the graceful, arching shape of the branches, but if desired, prune in late summer. If planting more than one together, space your Snake Bark Maples 6-9 metres apart. Plant Acer Rufinerve in any moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered position with any aspect, in full sun or partial shade. It is not very tolerant of either pollution or salt, but is deer and rabbit resistant.
The small size of Acer Rufinerve makes it a great choice of tree for small gardens, where its year-round colour can play a part in all seasons. Planted as a focal point in a lawn, this graceful tree will put on a show in winter with its bark and arching branches, as well as providing reliable green foliage in spring and summer before its brilliant autumn colours. Snake Bark Maple is also a good accompaniment for flower borders, where its foliage will benefit shade-loving plants, and the striking winter appearance will brighten up dull winter days.
A small graceful tree, Acer Rufinerve’s brilliant autumn foliage and striking green and cream bark make it a popular choice for small gardens. Other Snake Bark Maple trees include Acer Davidii & Acer Conspicuum Mozart.