Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) in fall color

The Vine Maple (tree species name: Acer circinatum) is a small maple tree species native to the Northwestern United States and I have seen on many occasions in and around Portland and Seattle. The images in this posted were taken from trees in both of these cities. The leaves in full autumn color are from a tree in North Seattle and the green leaves come from a tree in the Mount Tabor park in Portland. The picture below is of the winged "samara" seeds of this maple tree species that float like little helicopters when released into the wind.

The colorful leaves of the Vine Maple in autumn range in color from red to orange to yellow and green with many striking color patterns. The picture below is from a tree that I found along the eastern bank of Lake Sammamish near Seattle.

This tree species is also a common sight along the trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. One of the most visited of these is the trail leading up to Multnomah falls. Another maple tree species along that trail is the "Big Leaf Maple" (Acer macrophyllum), which are the trees along the trail that are covered in green moss and small ferns.
The Vine Maple tends to grow with multiple stems or trunks and rarely reaches more than 30ft in height.
Other Maple trees that I have posted about are the Big Leaf Maple, the Red Maple, the Boxelder Maple, Sycamore Maple and the Montpellier Maple.


  1. The vine maple is gaining my favor over the Japanese maple lately. Not sure why exactly - maybe the leaf shape.

    One advantage of the vine maple is it's superb flexibility, versus the brittle branches of Japanese maple.

    After we moved to a new home location in Beaverton last summer, I planted one Japanese maple and 4 vine maples.

    If nothing else, the vine maple has an "authentic" feel - it's indigenous to our area.

    M. D. Vaden
    Beaverton, Oregon

  2. wonderful landscape and undergrowth plant

  3. Just bought one, and planted it in the dappled shade of live oak. I'm in usda zone 9, Sunset Zone 7, in Gold Country, NorCal, and didn't want our Summer direct Sun heat to kill the darn thing. The leaves are kind of battered for now, but I expect great things next year.

    I have a Red Maple and several Acer Japonicas. The color around here is really something at times.