Tatarian maple, native from the Balkans via the Black Sea to the Urals, grows into a small tree. Those planted at Mustila in the 1910s at the lower edge of Pähkinärinne (Hazelnut slope) are now mature trees providing pleasure throughout the year: in spring the upright flower clusters, in summer the red samaras, in autumn beautiful yellow leaves, and in winter the dark shapely stems. The beautiful shape of the branches and the seeds, lasting on the branches long into winter, add to its appeal.
Tatarian maple, like its close relative Amur maple (A. tataricum subsp. ginnala), has long been used in Finland. The former is stronger-stemmed, with stiffer branches and leaves almost unlobed; the latter’s leaves are ‘three-fingered’. Tatarian maple is in fact more a multi-stemmed tree than a shrub, and thus needs considerable room for growth.