• 28 April 2005
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This particular one was introduced in 1752. It is huge and beautiful all year round for differing reasons. It is the first of all the maples to flower, which it does obligingly every March with hanging clusters of long-stalked, pale yellow flowers suspended beneath the opening bright green leaves, which later turn yellow to a pale orange, translucent in the autumn sunlight. This particular specimen is majestic against the winter skies.


This Powerscourt tree is in a great setting with sweeping lawns leading up to its wide spread, just outside the house. It has some branches missing due to age and storm damage and is in a state of some ruin. It should be seen before anything else untoward might happen. There is another Acer Opalus in the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, of a good size, but it does not enjoy the glorious setting of the Powerscourt one and is therefore not as dramatic. It needs to be seen from a distance to get the full beauty of its spread.

Powerscourt Gardens, like the Botanics, need to be visited at least once a month to see the trees as they change so dramatically through the seasons and as the light also changes.

Jenny Wright