Vine Maple - Acer circinatum
An understory tree of the Pacific Northwest mountains, Vine Maple is more often a shrub than a tree, with several twisted stems or occasionally a small trunk. In cool environments, the autumn color is brilliant red. The leaves, with 7 to 9 lobes, are distinctive, and the samaras are bright red and widely spread. The small flowers are borne in clusters. This maple forms thickets, often on steep slopes, including avalanche-prone habitats. Vine Maple is sometimes used as an ornamental although the autumn color is variable depending on location.