The small-leaved field maple’s natural range in Europe extends as far north as Denmark and the southern tip of Sweden. In central Europe it is often used as a trimmed hedge and as a street tree, withstanding both wind and full sun. It prefers chalky soil, in contrast to many maples.
The variable leaves of the field maple glow a beautiful wine red when they burst bud in spring. If the autumn is warm they have time to turn a brilliant yellow even in Finland. The tree bears small yellow-green flowers to coincide with leaf burst, and in autumn it bears the typical maple samaras. Winter hardiness and growth vary greatly between individuals, as can be seen from the test specimens at Mustila.
The field maple was a valued tree in Europe in the Middle Ages. Its hard wood has been used in making musical instruments. It is also claimed that the branches can drive bats out of lofts, and if they were placed over a house doorway it guaranteed that the roof storks would breed successfully, and that the children of the house would be healthy.