At the beginning of Spring everyone wigs out, justifiably so, on the Prunus genus (ornamental cherries & plums, etc.). But don’t overlook the Acer (maple) genus. It has a wonderful status by being among the first plants in the landscape to break dormancy in spring. The blooms have been referred to as insignificant, but not when the human eye is desperately searching for any color to break the monochrome of winter. Acer rubrum (various species of red maple), in particular, begins to transform parts of the winter treeline from brown to magenta.