Red Robin Hedging container grown hedging perfect for Spring planting


Field Maple Hedging Plants

Field Maple Hedging, also known as Acer campestre, is a popular native, deciduous hedging species renowned for its attractive green foliage that transforms into vibrant shades of yellow, showcasing a spectacular autumn colour in the fall. This characteristic makes it one of the most beautiful native hedging plants, adding a splash of lively color and attracting wildlife to gardens during the autumn season.

Popular varieties of Field Maple Hedge Plants

Choose from our most popular varieties of Field Maple Hedging plants, available in a range of sizes and root types.

Field Maple Hedge

Field Maple Hedge

(Acer campestre)

Field Maple is a native, fast growing deciduous hedging plant that has green foliage that turn shades of yellow in the autumn.

Growth rate: Medium 20-40cm per year

Overall height: Tall up to 7.5 metres

Position: Coastal, Full Sun, Full Shade, Exposed

Root Types: Bare Root, Pot Grown

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What is Field Maple Hedging?

Field Maple, scientifically known as Acer campestre, is a highly versatile and native deciduous tree found across much of Europe. It’s prized for its compact growth habit, making it an ideal choice for hedging in a variety of landscapes.

Not only does it serve as an attractive boundary or screen, but it also provides seasonal interest. In spring, its leaves emerge with a fresh green hue, which then transitions into a striking yellow or golden in autumn, adding a burst of colour to any garden.

Additionally, Field Maple hedges offer ecological benefits, supporting a diverse range of wildlife, including birds and beneficial insects.

Traditionally, the sap of the Field Maple has been used to produce maple syrup, showcasing its practical applications beyond ornamental or hedging purposes. 

As part of the wider family of maple trees, Field Maple shares the ecological benefits and ornamental value of its relatives, further emphasizing its importance in both natural and landscaped environments.

Field Maple hedging plants

Benefits & Features of Field Maple Hedges

Field Maple hedges are not only visually appealing but also offer a multitude of benefits for both the environment and the garden ecosystem. These hedges act as natural air purifiers, converting CO2 into oxygen, which contributes to improving air quality. Additionally, their dense foliage provides excellent noise reduction, creating a peaceful and serene outdoor environment. For wildlife, Field Maple serves as a vital habitat and food source, fostering biodiversity within the garden.

  • Wildlife Support: Offers shelter and nesting sites for birds, as well as sustenance for a variety of insects. The dense growth habit of Field Maple, characterized by its twiggy branches, provides an ideal environment for wildlife, offering both food and shelter.

  • Seasonal Interest: Features vibrant green foliage in spring and stunning yellow to gold leaves in autumn. The release of winged seeds in autumn adds to the hedge's aesthetic appeal and ecological value, contributing to its seasonal interest.

  • Natural Privacy Screen: Dense foliage ensures privacy and reduces visibility into your garden or property.

  • Noise Reduction: The thick hedge structure can significantly diminish traffic and neighborhood noise.

  • Low Maintenance: Once established, Field Maple hedges require minimal care, making them ideal for busy gardeners.

  • Sustainability: Supports local ecosystems and contributes to the sustainability of gardening practices.

Planting Field Maple Hedging Plants

How to plant Field Maple Hedging

Planting Field Maple hedging is straightforward and, if done correctly, can ensure your hedge thrives for years to come. The ideal time to plant Field Maple hedgings is during the dormant season from late autumn to early spring, when the plants are less likely to suffer from transplant shock.

  1. Site Preparation: Choose a site that receives full to partial sunlight and has well-drained soil. The area should be cleared of weeds and debris. Consider the mature size of the Field Maple to determine spacing – typically, planting 3-4 plants per metre in a single row will create a dense hedge.

  2. Planting Process: Dig a trench that is twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball of your hedging plants. Incorporate a generous amount of organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure into the dug soil to improve its fertility and structure.

  3. Positioning Plants: Place the plants in the trench, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. If planting bare-root specimens, spread the roots out evenly and ensure that the planting depth is such that the previous soil level marks on the plants align with the surface.

  4. Backfilling: Gently backfill the trench with the enriched soil, firming it down around the roots to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots and to provide moisture necessary for the plants to establish.

  5. Aftercare: Mulch around the base of the plants with a layer of organic material to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and provide nutrients. In the first few growing seasons, water the hedging regularly, especially during dry spells, to ensure they establish well.

By following these simple steps, your Field Maple hedging will grow to be robust, providing beauty, privacy, and ecological benefits for many years to come.

Best time to plant Field Maple

The best time to plant Field Maple hedging is in the dormant season, which spans from late autumn through to early spring. This timing is critical as it allows the plants to establish their root systems in the cooler months before the growth spurt in spring. Planting during this period minimises the stress on the plants, enhancing their survival and growth rates. For those in colder climates, it’s advisable to plant in early autumn to give the plants ample time to root before the ground freezes. Conversely, in milder climates, planting can be done later, even into early spring, to avoid winter frosts. It’s important to avoid planting in extreme weather conditions such as during heavy frost or when the ground is waterlogged, as this can adversely affect plant survival.

Field Maple hedge spacing chart

For those looking to create a solid barrier or screen quickly, planting Field Maple closer together may accelerate the process of forming a dense hedge, albeit this may require more frequent initial pruning to encourage bushy growth. Please refer to our spacing chart below for specific planting distances for each root type.


Growth Rates

Field Maple hedges exhibit a moderate growth rate, typically achieving 30-40 cm per year under optimal conditions. This rate allows for the relatively quick establishment of a dense hedge, without the need for constant trimming and maintenance. When planning for a hedge, it's essential to consider this growth pace to ensure your garden space can accommodate the mature size of the plants.

Preferred Soil Types & Positions

Field Maple thrives best in well-drained, fertile soil, though it’s quite adaptable to various soil types, including clay, sandy, and chalky soils. It prefers a position in full sun to partial shade, with the latter helping to accentuate the autumn leaf colour. When planting Field Maple, ensuring the site meets these conditions will contribute to the overall health and growth of the hedge.

  • Well-Drained Soil: Essential for preventing root rot and other waterlogged conditions.

  • Fertile Soil: Enhances growth and foliage density. Amendments with compost can improve poor soil.

  • Full Sun to Partial Shade: Adaptable to various light conditions, with partial shade enhancing autumn colours.

  • Tolerant of Various Soil pH: Can grow in slightly acidic to alkaline soils, making it versatile for different garden settings.

As the only native maple species in the UK, Field Maple, or 'native maple', is highly valued not only for its adaptability to a range of soil types but also for its historical and ornamental significance. This resilience and native status underscore its suitability for various garden settings across the UK, enhancing both the ecological value and aesthetic appeal of gardens.

Field Maple’s tolerance to different growing conditions, combined with its environmental benefits and visual appeal, makes it an exceptional choice for gardeners aiming to create a green, serene, and wildlife-friendly space.

Pruning and Caring for Field Maple Hedge Plants

How to prune Field Maple

Pruning Field Maple hedges is crucial for maintaining their shape, encouraging healthy growth, and ensuring dense foliage. The best time to prune these hedges is in late winter or early spring before the new growth begins. This timing helps prevent disrupting the plant's bloom cycle and allows gardeners to shape the hedge effectively. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. General Shaping: Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches to maintain the plant's health. Use clean, sharp tools to make precise cuts.

  2. Thin Out Overcrowded Areas: To ensure each part of the hedge receives adequate light and air circulation, thin out overcrowded branches. This will encourage new growth and reduce the risk of disease.

  3. Trim for Desired Shape: Field Maples are versatile and can be shaped according to preference. For a more formal appearance, trim the sides of the hedge vertically and the top horizontally. For a natural look, prune lightly to maintain the hedge's overall shape while allowing individual branches to grow more freely.

  4. Height Reduction: If the hedge exceeds the desired height, it can be reduced. However, avoid cutting more than a third of the hedge's overall height in a single year to prevent stressing the plants.

  5. Aftercare Following Pruning: After pruning, apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy regrowth. Water the hedge thoroughly, especially if the weather is dry, to help the plants recover and establish new growth.

Regular pruning not only keeps Field Maple hedges looking their best but also supports their long-term health and vibrancy. By adhering to these guidelines, gardeners can enjoy the many benefits of these hedges for years to come.

Watering and Fertilising Field Maple Hedges

Proper watering and fertilisation are crucial for the health and growth of Field Maple hedges, especially during their formative years. Here are some guidelines to ensure your hedges thrive:

  • Watering: New plants require consistent moisture to establish their root systems. In the first year after planting, water your Field Maple hedge deeply once a week, allowing water to penetrate the soil and reach the plant's roots. During hot, dry periods, increase watering frequency to twice a week. Established hedges are more drought-tolerant but may still benefit from occasional deep watering during prolonged dry spells to encourage deep rooting.

  • Fertilising: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertiliser in early spring as new growth appears. This will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy foliage and root development. Repeat the application in mid-summer to support continued growth, but avoid fertilising late in the season, as new growth may be damaged by early frosts.

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as composted leaves or bark, around the base of your Field Maple hedge annually. This will help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and gradually improve soil fertility as the mulch decomposes. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the stems to prevent rot.

By following these simple watering and fertilising practices, your Field Maple hedge will be better equipped to grow strong, lush, and vibrant, providing a stunning natural boundary for your garden.


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