Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky was a Russian and American poet and essayist. Born in Leningrad in 1940, Brodsky ran afoul of Soviet authorities and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972, settling in the United States with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters, he taught thereafter at Mount Holyoke College, at universities including Yale, Columbia and Michigan. Brodsky was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity", he was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991. According to Professor Andrey Ranchin of Moscow State University: “Brodsky is the only modern Russian poet whose body of work has been awarded the honorary title of a canonized classic... Brodsky's literary canonization is an exceptional phenomenon. No other contemporary Russian writer has been honored as the hero of such a number of memoir texts. Brodsky was born into a Russian Jewish family in Leningrad, he was a descendant of a ancient rabbinic family Schorr.
His direct male-line ancestor is Joseph ben Isaac Bekhor Shor. His father, Aleksandr Brodsky, was a professional photographer in the Soviet Navy, his mother, Maria Volpert Brodskaya, was a professional interpreter whose work helped to support the family, they lived in poverty, marginalized by their Jewish status. In early childhood Brodsky survived the Siege of Leningrad where he and his parents nearly died of starvation, he suffered from various health problems caused by the siege. Brodsky commented that many of his teachers were anti-Semitic and that he felt like a dissident from an early age, he noted "I began to despise Lenin when I was in the first grade, not so much because of his political philosophy or practice... but because of his omnipresent images." As a young student Brodsky was "an unruly child" known for his misbehavior during classes. At fifteen, Brodsky tried to enter the School of Submariners without success, he went on to work as a milling machine operator. Having decided to become a physician, he worked at the morgue at the Kresty Prison and sewing bodies.
He subsequently held a variety of jobs in hospitals, in a ship's boiler room, on geological expeditions. At the same time, Brodsky engaged in a program of self-education, he learned Polish so he could translate the works of Polish poets such as Czesław Miłosz, English so that he could translate John Donne. On the way, he acquired a deep interest in classical philosophy, religion and English and American poetry. In 1955, Brodsky began producing literary translations, he circulated them in secret, some were published by the underground journal Sintaksis. His writings were apolitical. By 1958 he was well known in literary circles for his poems "The Jewish cemetery near Leningrad" and "Pilgrims". Asked when he first felt called to poetry, he recollected, "In 1959, in Yakutsk, when walking in that terrible city, I went into a bookstore. I snagged a copy of poems by Baratynsky. I had nothing to read. So I read that book and understood what I had to do in life. Or got excited, at least. So in a way, Evgeny Abramovich Baratynsky is sort of responsible."
His friend Ludmila Shtern recalled working with Brodsky on an irrigation project in his "Geological Period": "We bounced around the Leningrad Province examining kilometers of canals, checking their embankments, which looked terrible. They were falling down, coming apart, had all sorts of strange things growing in them... It was during these trips, that I was privileged to hear the poems "The Hills" and "You Will Gallop in the Dark". Brodsky read them aloud to me between two train cars as we were going towards Tikhvin."In 1960, the young Brodsky met Anna Akhmatova, one of the leading poets of the silver age. She encouraged his work, would go on to become his mentor. In 1962, in Leningrad, Anna Akhmatova introduced him to the artist Marina Basmanova, a young painter from an established artistic family, drawing Akhmatova's portrait; the two started a relationship. Bobyshev began to pursue the girl and Brodsky began to be pursued by the authorities. Brodsky dedicated much love poetry to Marina Basmanova: In 1963, Brodsky's poetry was denounced by a Leningrad newspaper as "pornographic and anti-Soviet".
His papers were confiscated, he was interrogated, twice put in a mental institution and arrested. He was charged with social parasitism by the Soviet authorities in a trial in 1964, finding that his series of odd jobs and role as a poet were not a sufficient contribution to society, they called him "a pseudo-poet in velveteen trousers" who failed to fulfill his "constitutional duty to work for the good of the motherland". The trial judge asked "Who has recognized you as a poet? Who has enrolled you in the ranks of poets?" – "No one," Brodsky replied, "Who enrolled me in the ranks of the human race?" Brodsky was not yet 24. For his "parasitism" Brodsky was sentenced to five years hard labor and served 18 months on a farm in the village of Norenskaya, in the Archangelsk region, 350 miles from Leningrad, he rented his own small cottage, though it was without plumbing or central heating, having one's own, private space was taken to be a great luxury at the time. Basmanova and Brodsky'
Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political and social institutions to Romulus and his contemporaries. Although many of these traditions incorporate elements of folklore, it is not clear to what extent a historical figure underlies the mythical Romulus, the events and institutions ascribed to him were central to the myths surrounding Rome's origins and cultural traditions; the myths concerning Romulus involve several distinct episodes and figures: the miraculous birth and youth of Romulus and Remus, his twin brother. Romulus and Remus, his twin brother, were the sons of Rhea Silvia, herself the daughter of Numitor, the former king of Alba Longa. Through them, the twins are descended from the Trojan hero Aeneas and Latinus, the mythical founder of the kingdom of Latium. Before the twins' birth, Numitor had been usurped by Amulius. After seizing the throne, Amulius murdered Numitor's son, condemned Rhea to perpetual virginity by consecrating her a Vestal.
Rhea, became pregnant, ostensibly by the god Mars. Amulius had her imprisoned, upon the twins' birth, ordered that they be thrown into the rain-swollen Tiber. Instead of carrying out the king's orders, his servants left the twins along the riverbank at the foot of Palatine Hill. In the traditional telling of the legend, a she-wolf happened upon the twins, who were at the foot of a fig tree, she suckled and tended them by a cave until they were found by the herdsman Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia. The brothers grew to manhood among hill-folk. After becoming involved in a conflict between the followers of Amulius and those of their grandfather Numitor, they learned the truth of their origin, they restored Numitor to the throne. The princes set out to establish a city of their own, they returned to the hills overlooking the site where they had been exposed as infants. They could not agree on; when an omen to resolve the controversy failed to provide a clear indication, the conflict escalated and Remus was killed by his brother or by his brother's follower.
In a variant of the legend, the augurs favoured Romulus, who proceeded to plough a square furrow around the Palatine Hill to demarcate the walls of the future city. When Remus derisively leapt over the "walls" to show how inadequate they were against invaders, he was struck down by Romulus in anger. In another variant, Remus died during a melée, along with Faustulus; the founding of the city by Romulus was commemorated annually on April 21, with the festival of the Parilia. His first act was to fortify the Palatine, in the course, he laid out the city's boundaries with a furrow that he ploughed, performed another sacrifice, with his followers set to work building the city itself. Romulus sought the assent of the people to become their king. With Numitor's help, he received their approval. Romulus accepted the crown after he sacrificed and prayed to Jupiter, after receiving favourable omens. Romulus divided the populace into three tribes, known as the Ramnes and Luceres, for taxation and military purposes.
Each tribe was presided over by an official known as a tribune, was further divided into ten curia, or wards, each presided over by an official known as a curio. Romulus allotted a portion of land to each ward, for the benefit of the people. Nothing is known of the manner in which the tribes and curiae were taxed, but for the military levy, each curia was responsible for providing one hundred foot soldiers, a unit known as a century, ten cavalry; each Romulean tribe thus provided about one thousand infantry, one century of cavalry. Choosing one hundred men from the leading families, Romulus established the Roman senate; these men he called the city fathers. The other class, known as the "plebs" or "plebeians", consisted of the servants, fugitives who sought asylum at Rome, those captured in war, others who were granted Roman citizenship over time. To encourage the growth of the city, Romulus outlawed infanticide, established an asylum for fugitives on the Capitoline Hill, where freemen and slaves alike could claim protection and seek Roman citizenship.
The new city was filled with colonists, most of whom were unmarried men. With no intermarriage between Rome and neighboring communities, the new city would fail. Romulus sent envoys to neighboring towns, appealing to them to allow intermarriage with Roman citizens, but his overtures were rebuffed. Romulus formulated a plan to acquire women from other settlements, he announced a momentous festival and games, invited the people of the neighboring cities to attend. Many did, in particular the Sabines. At a prearranged signal, the Romans began to snatch and carry off the marriageable women among their guests; the aggrieved cities prepared for war with Rome, might have defeated Romulus had they been united. But impatient with the preparations of the Sabines, the Latin towns of Caenina and Antemnae took action without their allies. Caenina was the first to attack.
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven by hand on a loom. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are discontinuous, it is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design. Most weavers use a natural warp thread, such as linen or cotton; the weft threads are wool or cotton, but may include silk, silver, or other alternatives. First attested in English in 1467, the word tapestry derives from Old French tapisserie, from tapisser, meaning "to cover with heavy fabric, to carpet", in turn from tapis, "heavy fabric", via Latin tapes, the Latinisation of the Greek τάπης, "carpet, rug"; the earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek, ta-pe-ja, written in the Linear B syllabary. The success of decorative tapestry can be explained by its portability.
Kings and noblemen could transport tapestries from one residence to another. In churches, they were displayed on special occasions. Tapestries were draped on the walls of castles for insulation during winter, as well as for decorative display. In the Middle Ages and renaissance, a rich tapestry panel woven with symbolic emblems, mottoes, or coats of arms called a baldachin, canopy of state or cloth of state was hung behind and over a throne as a symbol of authority; the seat under such a canopy of state would be raised on a dais. The iconography of most Western tapestries goes back to written sources, the Bible and Ovid's Metamorphoses being two popular choices. Apart from the religious and mythological images, hunting scenes are the subject of many tapestries produced for indoor decoration. Tapestries have been used since at least Hellenistic times. Samples of Greek tapestry have been found preserved in the desert of Tarim Basin dating from the 3rd century BC; the form reached a new stage in Europe in the early 14th century AD.
The first wave of production occurred in Switzerland. Over time, the craft expanded to France and the Netherlands; the basic tools have remained much the same. In the 14th and 15th centuries, France was a thriving textile town; the industry specialised in fine wool tapestries which were sold to decorate palaces and castles all over Europe. Few of these tapestries survived the French Revolution as hundreds were burnt to recover the gold thread, woven into them. Arras is still used to refer to a rich tapestry no matter. Indeed, as literary scholar Rebecca Olson argues, arras were the most valuable objects in England during the early modern period and inspired writers such as William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser to weave these tapestries into their most important works such as Hamlet and The Faerie Queen. By the 16th century, the towns of Oudenaarde, Brussels and Enghien had become the centres of European tapestry production. In the 17th century, Flemish tapestries were arguably the most important productions, with many specimens of this era still extant, demonstrating the intricate detail of pattern and colour embodied in painterly compositions of monumental scale.
In the 19th century, William Morris resurrected the art of tapestry-making in the medieval style at Merton Abbey. Morris & Co. made successful series of tapestries for home and ecclesiastical uses, with figures based on cartoons by Edward Burne-Jones. Kilims and Navajo rugs are types of tapestry work. In the mid-twentieth century, new tapestry art forms were developed by children at the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Harrania, by modern French artists under Jean Lurçat in Aubusson, France. Traditional tapestries are still made at the factory of Gobelins and a few other old European workshops, which repair and restore old tapestries. While tapestries have been created for many centuries and in every continent in the world, what distinguishes the contemporary field from its pre-World War ll history is the predominance of the artist as weaver in the contemporary medium; this trend has its roots in France during the 1950s where one of the "cartoonists" for the Aubusson Tapestry studios, Jean Lurçat spearheaded a revival of the medium by streamlining color selection, thereby simplifying production, by organizing a series of Biennial exhibits held in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Polish work submitted to the first Biennale, which opened in 1962, was quite novel. Traditional workshops in Poland had collapsed as a result of the war. Art supplies in general were hard to acquire. Many Polish artists had learned to weave as part of their art school training and began creating individualistic work by using atypical materials like jute and sisal. With each Biennale the popularity of works focusing on exploring innovative constructions from a wide variety of fiber resounded around the world. There were many weavers in pre-war United States, but there had never been a prolonged system of workshops for producing tapestries. Therefore, weavers in America were self-taught and chose to design as well as weave their art. Through these Lausanne exhibitions, US artists/weavers, others in countries all over the world, were excited about the Polish trend towards experimental forms. Throughout the 1970s all weavers had explored some manner of techniques and materials in vogue at the time.
What this movement contributed to the newly realized field of art weaving, termed "contemporary tapestry", was the option for working
In landscaping, an avenue, or allée, is traditionally a straight path or road with a line of trees or large shrubs running along each side, used, as its Latin source venire indicates, to emphasize the "coming to," or arrival at a landscape or architectural feature. In most cases, the trees planted in an avenue will be all of the same species or cultivar, so as to give uniform appearance along the full length of the avenue; the French term allée is used for avenues planted in parks and landscape gardens, as well as boulevards such as the Grande Allée in Quebec City and Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin. The avenue is one of the oldest ideas in the history of gardens. An avenue of sphinxes still leads to the tomb of the pharaoh Hatshepsut. Avenues defined by guardian stone lions lead to the Ming tombs in China. British archaeologists have adopted specific criteria for "avenues" within the context of British archaeology. In Garden à la française Baroque landscape design, avenues of trees that were centered upon the dwelling radiated across the landscape.
See the avenues in the Gardens of Versailles or Het Loo. Other late 17th-century French and Dutch landscapes, in that intensely ordered and flat terrain, fell into avenues. In order to enhance the approach to mansions or manor houses, avenues were planted along the entrance drive. Sometimes the avenues are in double rows on each side of a road. Trees preferred for avenues were selected for their height and speed of growth, such as poplar, beech and horse chestnut. In the American antebellum era South, the southern live oak was used, because the trees created a beautiful shade canopy. Sometimes tree avenues were designed to direct the eye toward some distinctive architectural building or feature, such as a chapels, gazebos, or architectural follies. Avenue as a street name in French and other languages implies a large straight street in a city created as part of a large scheme of urban planning such as Baron Haussmann's remodelling of Paris or the L'Enfant Plan for Washington D. C.. This pattern is often followed in the United States, indeed all the Americas, but in the United Kingdom this sense is less strong and the name is used more randomly for suburban streets developed in the 20th century, though Western Avenue, London is a main traffic artery out of the city, if not straight.
In cities which have a grid-based naming system, such as the borough of Manhattan in New York City, there may be a convention that the streets called avenues run parallel in one direction – north–south in the case of Manhattan – while "streets" run at 90 degrees to them across the avenues. In Washington, DC the avenues radiate from the centre running diagonally across the grid of streets, which follows typical French usage of the name. In Phoenix, Arizona, "the avenues" can colloquially mean "the west side of town", due to the numbered north–south-running roads being called "Avenues" in the western part of the city, separated from the eastern "Streets" by a "Central Avenue". "the avenues" in San Francisco, California refers to the Richmond District and the Sunset District, the two neighborhoods on the Pacific coast and south of Golden Gate Park, respectively. In Anglophone urban or suburban settings, "avenue" is one of the usual suite of words used in street names, along with "boulevard", "circle", "court", "drive", "lane", "place", "road", "street", "terrace", "way" and so on, any of which may carry connotations as to the street's size, importance, or function.
Alley — a narrow lane, or path Alameda Avenue of honour Garden design Garden features Hedges Landscape design history Shade tree Southern live oak Media related to Avenues at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Streets called avenues at Wikimedia Commons
François Boucher was a French painter and etcher, who worked in the Rococo style. Boucher is known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories, pastoral scenes, he was the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century. A native of Paris, Boucher was the son of a lesser known painter Nicolas Boucher, who gave him his first artistic training. At the age of seventeen, a painting by Boucher was admired by the painter François Lemoyne. Lemoyne appointed Boucher as his apprentice, but after only three months, he went to work for the engraver Jean-François Cars. In 1720, he won the elite Grand Prix de Rome for painting, but did not take up the consequential opportunity to study in Italy until five years due to financial problems at the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. On his return from studying in Italy he was admitted to the refounded Académie de peinture et de sculpture on 24 November 1731, his morceau de réception was his Rinaldo and Armida of 1734.
Boucher married Marie-Jeanne Buzeau in 1733. The couple had three children together. Boucher became a faculty member in 1734 and his career accelerated from this point as he was promoted Professor Rector of the Academy, becoming inspector at the Royal Gobelins Manufactory and Premier Peintre du Roi in 1765. Boucher died on 30 May 1770 in his native Paris, his name, along with that of his patron Madame de Pompadour, had become synonymous with the French Rococo style, leading the Goncourt brothers to write: "Boucher is one of those men who represent the taste of a century, who express and embody it." Boucher is famous for saying that nature is "trop verte et mal éclairée". Boucher was associated with the gemstone engraver Jacques Guay, he mentored the Moravian-Austrian painter Martin Ferdinand Quadal as well as the neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David in 1767. Boucher made a series of drawings of works by Guay which Madame de Pompadour engraved and distributed as a handsomely bound volume to favored courtiers.
Boucher took inspiration from artists such as Antoine Watteau. Boucher's early works celebrate the idyllic and tranquil portrayal of nature and landscape with great elan. However, his art forgoes traditional rural innocence to portray scenes with a definitive style of eroticism as his mythological scenes are passionate and intimately amorous rather than traditionally epic. Boucher's paintings of a flirtatious shepherd and shepherdess in a woodland setting, featured in The Enjoyable Lesson of 1748 and An Autumn Pastoral of 1749, were based upon characters in a 1745 play by Boucher's close friend Charles-Simon Favart. Boucher's characters in those paintings inspired a pair of figurines created by the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, c. 1757-66. Marquise de Pompadour, whose name became synonymous with Rococo art, was a great admirer of his work. Marquise de Pompadour is referred to as the "godmother of Rococo" and Boucher’s portraits were central to her self-presentation and cultivation of her image.
For instance, Boucher's'Sketch for a Portrait of Madame de Pompadour', displayed in the Starhemburg room at Waddesdon Manor, acts as a surviving example of the oil preparation prior to the, now lost, portrait. In one hand she holds her hat, in the other she picks up a pearl bracelet with a portrait of the king – symbolising the relationship upon which her status depends. Boucher's paintings such as The Breakfast, a familial scene, show how he was as a master of the genre scene, where he used his own wife and children as models; these intimate family scenes are contrasting to the licentious style seen in his Odalisque portraits. The dark-haired version of the Odalisque portraits prompted claims by the art critic Denis Diderot that Boucher was "prostituting his own wife", the Blonde Odalisque was a portrait that illustrated the extramarital relationships of the King. Boucher gained lasting notoriety through such private commissions for wealthy collectors and, after Diderot expressed his disapproval, his reputation came under increasing critical attack during the last years of his career.
Along with his painting, Boucher designed theater costumes and sets, the ardent intrigues of the comic operas of Charles Simon Favart paralleled his own style of painting. Tapestry design was a concern. For the Beauvais tapestry workshops he first designed a series of Fêtes italiennes in 1736, which proved to be successful and rewoven over the years, commissioned in 1737, a suite of the story of Cupid and Psyche. During two decades' involvement with the Beauvais tapestry workshops Boucher produced designs for six series of hangings in all, like the tapestry showing Psyche and the Basketmaker from 1741–1742. Boucher was called upon for designs for court festivities organized by that section of the King's household called the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi and for the opera and for royal châteaux Versailles and Choisy, his designs for all of the aforementioned augmented his earlier reputation, resulting in many engravings from his work and reproduction of his designs on porcelain and biscuit-ware at the Vincennes and Sèvres factories.
The death of Oudry in 1755 put an end to its contribution to Beauvais but his collaboration with the Gobelins lasted until 1765, when he stepped down from his position as an inspector. Boucher was a prolific and varied draftsman, his drawings served not only as preparatory studies for his paintings and as designs for prin
An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs, maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit- or nut-producing trees which are grown for commercial production. Orchards are sometimes a feature of large gardens, where they serve an aesthetic as well as a productive purpose. A fruit garden is synonymous with an orchard, although it is set on a smaller non-commercial scale and may emphasize berry shrubs in preference to fruit trees. Most temperate-zone orchards are laid out in a regular grid, with a grazed or mown grass or bare soil base that makes maintenance and fruit gathering easy. Most orchards are planted for a single variety of fruit. While the importance of introducing biodiversity is recognized in forest plantations, it would seem to be beneficial to introduce some genetic diversity in orchard plantations as well by interspersing other trees through the orchard. Genetic diversity in an orchard would provide resilience to diseases just as in forests. Orchards are sometimes concentrated near bodies of water where climatic extremes are moderated and blossom time is retarded until frost danger is past.
An orchard's layout is the technique of planting the crops in a proper system. There are different methods of planting and thus different layouts; some of these layout types include: Square method Rectangular method Quincunx method Triangular method Hexagonal method Contour or terrace methodFor different varieties, these systems may vary to some extent. The most extensive orchards in the United States are apple and orange orchards, although citrus orchards are more called groves; the most extensive apple orchard area is in eastern Washington state, with a lesser but significant apple orchard area in most of Upstate New York. Extensive orange orchards are found in Florida and southern California, where they are more known as'groves'. In eastern North America, many orchards are along the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario. In Canada and other fruit orchards are widespread on the Niagara Peninsula, south of Lake Ontario; this region is known as Canada Fruitbelt and, in addition to large-scale commercial fruit marketing, it encourages "pick-your-own" activities in the harvest season.
Murcia is a major orchard area in Europe, with citrus crops. New Zealand, China and Chile have extensive apple orchards. Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire has been called The Town in the Orchard, since the 19th century, because it was surrounded by extensive orchards. Today, this heritage is celebrated through an annual Applefest. Streuobstwiese is a German word that means a meadow with scattered fruit trees or fruit trees that are planted in a field. Streuobstwiese, or a meadow orchard, is a traditional landscape in the temperate, maritime climate of continental Western Europe. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Streuobstwiesen were a kind of a rural community orchard that were intended for productive cultivation of stone fruit. In recent years, ecologists have lobbied for state subsidies to valuable habitats and natural landscapes, which are used to preserve old meadow orchards. Both conventional and meadow orchards provide a suitable habitat for many animal species that live in a cultured landscape.
A notable example is the hoopoe that nests in tree hollows of old fruit trees and, in the absence of alternative nesting sites, is threatened in many parts of Europe because of the destruction of old orchards. Orchard in various regions Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts was the residence of American celebrated writer Louisa May Alcott. Fruita, Utah part of Capitol Reef National Park has Mormon pioneer orchards maintained by the United States National Park Service. Historical orchards have mature trees spaced for heavy equipment. Modern commercial apple orchards, by contrast and as one example, are "high-density" and in extreme cases have up to 9000 trees per acre; these plants are no longer trees in the traditional sense, but instead resemble vines on dwarf stock and require trellises to support them. Natural England, through its Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Environmental Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme, gives grant aid and advice for the maintenance, enhancement or re-creation of historical orchards.
The'Orchard Link' organisation provides advice on how to manage and restore the county of Devon's orchards, as well as enabling the local community to use the local orchard produce. An organisation called. People's Trust for Endangered Species has mapped every traditional orchard within England and Wales and manages the national inventory for this habitat; the UK Biodiversity Partnership lists traditional orchards and a priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan habitat. The Wiltshire Traditional Orchards Project maps and restores traditional orchards within Wiltshire, England. Fruit tree forms Fruit tree pollination Fruit tree propagation Fruit tree pruning Climate-friendly gardening Forest Home Orchard Society Pennsylvania tree fruit production guide. "Orchard". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Acer is a genus of trees and shrubs known as maple. The genus is placed in the family Sapindaceae. There are 128 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a number appearing in Europe, northern Africa, North America. Only one species, Acer laurinum, extends to the Southern Hemisphere; the type species of the genus is the sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, the most common maple species in Europe. The maples have recognizable palmate leaves and distinctive winged fruits; the closest relatives of the maples are the horse chestnuts. Most maples are trees growing to a height of 10–45 m. Others are shrubs less than 10 meters tall with a number of small trunks originating at ground level. Most species are deciduous, many are renowned for their autumn leaf colour, but a few in southern Asia and the Mediterranean region are evergreen. Most are shade-tolerant when young and are riparian, understory, or pioneer species rather than climax overstory trees. There are a few exceptions such as sugar maple.
Many of the root systems are dense and fibrous, inhibiting the growth of other vegetation underneath them. A few species, notably Acer cappadocicum produce root sprouts, which can develop into clonal colonies. Maples are distinguished by opposite leaf arrangement; the leaves in most species are palmate veined and lobed, with 3 to 9 veins each leading to a lobe, one of, central or apical. A small number of species differ in having palmate compound, pinnate compound, pinnate veined or unlobed leaves. Several species, including Acer griseum, Acer mandshuricum, Acer maximowiczianum and Acer triflorum, have trifoliate leaves. One species, Acer negundo, has pinnately compound leaves that may be trifoliate or may have five, seven, or nine leaflets. A few, such as Acer laevigatum and Acer carpinifolium, have pinnately veined simple leaves. Maple species, such as Acer rubrum, may be dioecious or polygamodioecious; the flowers are regular and borne in racemes, corymbs, or umbels. They have four or five sepals, four or five petals about 1 – 6 mm long, four to ten stamens about 6 – 10 mm long, two pistils or a pistil with two styles.
The ovary is superior and has two carpels, whose wings elongate the flowers, making it easy to tell which flowers are female. Maples flower in late winter or early spring, in most species with or just after the appearance of the leaves, but in some before the trees leaf out. Maple flowers are green, orange or red. Though individually small, the effect of an entire tree in flower can be striking in several species; some maples are an early spring source of nectar for bees. The distinctive fruits are called samaras, "maple keys", "helicopters", "whirlybirds" or "polynoses"; these seeds occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a "nutlet" attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to carry the seeds a considerable distance on the wind. People call them "helicopters" due to the way that they spin as they fall. During World War II, the US Army developed a special air drop supply carrier that could carry up to 65 pounds of supplies and was based on the Maple seed.
Seed maturation is in a few weeks to six months after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity. However, one tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time. Depending on the species, the seeds can be green to orange and big with thicker seed pods; the green seeds are released in pairs, sometimes with the stems still connected. The yellow seeds are released individually and always without the stems. Most species require stratification in order to germinate, some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating; the genus Acer together with genus Dipteronia are either classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or else classified as members of the family Sapindaceae. Recent classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in Sapindaceae; when put in family Sapindaceae, genus Acer is put in subfamily Hippocastanoideae. The genus is subdivided by its morphology into a multitude of subsections. Fifty-four species of maples meet the International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria for being under threat of extinction in their native habitat.
The leaves are used as a food plant for the larvae of a number of the Lepidoptera order.. In high concentrations, like the greenstriped mapleworm, can feed on the leaves so much that they cause temporary defoliation of host maple trees. Aphids are very common sap-feeders on maples. In horticultural applications a dimethoate spray will solve this. In the United States and Canada, all maple species are threatened by the Asian long-horned beetle. Infestations have resulted in the destruction of thousands of maples and other tree species in Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Maples are affected by a number of fungal diseases. Several are susceptible to Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium species, which can cause significant local mortality. Sooty bark disease, caused by Cryptostroma species, can kill trees that are under stress due to drought. Death of maples can be caused by Phytophthora root rot and Ganoderma root decay. Maple leaves in late summer and autumn are disfigured by "tar spot" caused by Rhytisma species and mildew caused by Uncinula species, though these diseases do not have an adverse effect on th