Acer garnatense (Acer opalus subsp. Garnatense)

The Acer garnatense is a beautiful species of deciduous tree that can be enjoyed in any spacious garden that enjoys a temperate climate. Its crown is wide, giving a very pleasant shade during the summer, and in autumn its leaves turn an impressive yellowish color before falling.

It does not require much care, although it is very important to know your needs so that problems do not arise now or in the future.

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a caudicifolio tree whose scientific name is Acer opalus subsp. garnatense belonging to the Acer genus that grows naturally in North Africa, the island of Mallorca (in the Sierra de Tramuntana) and the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. It is popularly known as Mediterranean maple or Mediterranean maple, and reaches a maximum height of 10 meters, although the normal thing is that it remains with 6-8 meters, or even less.

Its crown is not very wide, up to 4 meters, but it has a very nice rounded shape. It is composed of palmate leaves, 4-8cm long by 3-16cm wide, green in color. The flowers are grouped in small corymbs that sprout in spring, and the seeds are winged samaras up to 5cm in length.

What is the care of the Acer garnatense?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:


It is a tree that has to be outdoors, in full sun or in semi-shade. As it has a rather reduced development, it can be placed at a distance of about two or three meters from walls, walls, etc.


It will depend on where you have it:

  • Pot: use universal growing medium (on sale here ). You can also mix akadama with 30% kiryuzuna or kanuma (you have information about these substrates here ).
  • Garden: the land must be siliceous or limestone, well drained and fertile. If it is not, make a hole of at least 1m x 1m, cover it with shading mesh and fill it with the substrate mentioned above.


Irrigation has to be frequent, as it does not withstand drought. But beware, waterlogging doesn’t suit you either. Ideally, check the soil’s moisture before proceeding to fill the watering can with water, either with a thin wooden stick or with a digital moisture meter.

And if you still have doubts, you should know that it is advisable to water in such a way that the substrate or soil never dries completely; that is to say, which would be equivalent to, more or less, about 4 times a week in summer and about 2 times a week the rest of the year.


It is highly advisable to fertilize it from the beginning of spring to the end of summer, with a monthly contribution of organic fertilizers such as compost, guano, or mulch. If you have it in a pot, use liquid fertilizers, like this one sold here, following the instructions specified on the package.


Image – Flickr/ jclopezalmansa

The seeds of the Acer garnatense, like those of all maples, need to cool before germinating. So if the temperature drops below -5ºC in your area, you can sow them directly in pots and let nature take its course; Otherwise, you will have to stratify them first in the refrigerator for three months, and then sow them in a seedbed placed outside, in semi-shade.

This is how they will germinate throughout the spring.


You do not need it, but by mid-autumn or late winter you can remove dry, diseased, weak or broken branches, and take advantage of to trim those that are getting too long.

Planting or transplanting time

It is planted in the garden at the end of winter, when the leaves are about to sprout (you will know this because the buds “swell”). If you have it in a pot, move it to a larger one that has holes for drainage every two to three years.

Plagues and diseases

It is very resistant, although it is necessary to control the waterings well because otherwise its roots would rot. Likewise, it is important never to wet the leaves to prevent them from being burned by the sun.


Resists up to -18ºC. It does not live in hot tropical climates; at least the temperature must drop below 0 degrees at some point so that it can hibernate well.

What uses is it given?

Image – Wikimedia/ Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

It is a very decorative plant, ideal to have as an isolated specimen or in groups. It is also used as urban trees and parks, because as we said, it does not need much space to grow well.

As it also has a growth that can be easily controlled, it is even an ideal plant to grow in pots for many years. Some dare to work it as bonsai, as its leaves are relatively smaller than those of other species of maples.

What do you think of the Acer opalus subsp. garnet ?

Related article:Acer opalus

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