Location Location Location

Acer palmatum--unknown variety of Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum–unknown variety of Japanese Maple

This stunning Japanese Maple at the Bob Prittie Library (Burnaby) looks better right now than almost any other time of the year. Yes, the fringe of red leaves and the lake underneath contribute. But even more than that is the blackness of the bark and the structure of the tree–now visible without leaves.

Key to appreciating this beauty is LOCATION–I know, surprise! Besides being alone in an expanse of lawn, what you can’t see is that the tree is right beside the library’s entrance path. Visitors to the library–those who approach on foot anyway–have to go by it. Will they stop to admire?

It’s exposed on all sides with nothing to obscure it–no building walls, no large or even small shrubs, and even many smaller, lower branches have been regularly pruned to reveal the architecture of the trunk and primary branches.

Japanese maple at Metrotown library

I’ve talked about locating plants to catch the morning or evening sun, and this is a variant on that. When you buy or otherwise acquire a young tree, it doesn’t look like much, usually. So think ahead five or ten years to when it’s becoming a little more mature. Will it be something that draws you out to take a picture, as this did for me? I wouldn’t have even noticed this tree if it were one of many, or surrounded by other plant material, or if the gardeners hadn’t done such a lovely job of enhancing its beauty.

Thanks gardeners!

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