The Society

Through The Years

Over the past years maples have become increasingly popular, with more and more people planting them in their gardens. There are nearly 160 species growing wild throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America, many of which thrive in our gardens.

What other tree genus can offer horticulturists the variety and scope for large or small gardens, patio or container planting, that can be found among the numerous maple species and cultivars? Selections for size, form, bark, foliage, flowers, leaves or autumn color are abundant. There are species for wet, dry, acid or alkaline soils, and for sunshine, shade, exposed or sheltered conditions.

We are a Society that caters for and fosters interest in this delightful, versatile genus. Founded by Doug Goodyer, Superintendent at Hever Castle, the Maple Society aims to encourage the cultivation of maples, enable members to learn from each other about their propagation, cultivation, introduction and identification, and facilitate the study of the botany, uses and cultural needs of maples, and support the conservation of maples in the wild. The society’s President is the popular plantsman, broadcaster and author, Roy Lancaster. Our members, past and present, include Dick van Gelderen and his son Cor (Plantuin Esveld), Gordon Harris, (Mallet Court Nurseries), Piet de Jong (Von Gimborn Arboretum), Hugh Angus (Westonbirt Arboretum), Koen Camelbeke (Wespelaar), Peter Gregory and J. D. Vertrees (authors of Japanese Maples), and many other leading experts in the world of maples.

The society is active and international, with a quarterly newsletter containing information on maples in cultivation and in the wild, and to which members are welcome to contribute articles of interest, news, views, problems. Leading authorities lead online meetings in various languages, we actively support maple conservation through our bursaries, and propose expert-guided tours of major collections and gardens.  A seed distribution program allows members to acquire and exchange seed.

The Maple Society invites you to join us, and find out more about a these fascinating trees that offer variety in every month of the year. To quote Roy Lancaster: “Whether you grow, paint, study or simply enthuse over them, you will be supporting one of the loveliest, most variable and useful of all groups of ornamental trees.” If you would like to become a member, all enthusiasts are welcome!