Vine Maple, Mountain Maple

Acer circinatum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: circinatum (sir-sin-AY-tum) (Info)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

American Canyon, California

Forest Falls, California

San Francisco, California

Bend, Oregon

Gold Hill, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Tillamook, Oregon

Leesburg, Virginia

Bothell, Washington

Lea Hill, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 4, 2012, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I am fortunate to have these lovely natives growing in my back woods. They really light up in the fall, one of the earliest to turn color. Difficult to transplant, but not impossible.


On Dec 21, 2007, Spookycharles from Langley, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The acer circinatum is native of Western Washington with a native range extending along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. Their form is highly variable depending on the conditions theyre grown in.

They can be straight and tall when in the relative open, having a large, but delicate Japanese maple-like appearance. However, when grown under heavy forest cover they can be extremely gangly either reaching up with little branching or even stretching for surprising distances nearly along the ground.

Though they have a reputation for vibrant fall color, the vine maples on my property (growing in conditions ranging from mostly sun to heavy shade) actually have the least noticeable fall color of any of the trees in the area and typically only turn a muddy ... read more


On Jun 25, 2003, ianltaylor wrote:

This is the only North American species of maple related to the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum). Grows best with some shade. The species is found along streams and rivers in Western British Columbia and Washington State.

The name Vine Maple is due to its habbit of growing tall with few branches if in deep shade. Grows quite slowly and bushy in full sun. Collect seed in fall when the wings are dry but the seed is still somewhat green. This avoids a tendancy to double dormancy and allows germination the first spring. Seed germinates readily if sown immediately and kept moist over winter in an unheated sheltered location.

Plant is reasonably drought tolerant, but prefers moist conditions. Leaves turn bright red in fall.