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The Vine Maple a


A. circinatum, Pursh.

The vine maple reminds one of the lianas of tropical woods, for it has not sufficient stiffness to stand erect. It grows in the bottom lands and up the mountain sides, but always following water-courses, from British Columbia to northern California. Its vine-like stems spring up in clusters from the ground, spreading in wide curves, and these send out long, slender twigs which root when they touch the ground, thus forming impenetrable thickets, often many acres in extent.

The leaf is almost circular and cut into narrow equal lobes around the margin; green in midsummer, it changes to red and gold in autumn, and the woodsman, almost worn out with the labor of getting through the maze these trees form, must delight, when he stops to rest, in the autumn glory of this wonderful ground cover.

These little maples lend a wonderful charm to the edges of forest highways in the Eastern states. Like the horn beams, hazel bushes, and ground hemlock, they are lovers of the shade; and they fringe the forest with a shrubbery border.