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Acer nipponicum

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Acer brevilobum
Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser nip-PON-ih-kum
Description

Nippon maple is a deciduous shade tree in the Sapindaceae (soapberry) family native to the forests in mountainous regions of Japan.  It can grow to a whopping height of 20 to 65 feet tall.

It has smooth gray-brown bark and intensely green bark on younger stems. The leaves are dark green deeply veined and have an interesting rough texture. and the wing seeds are prolific but are often sterile.  Be careful to keep the tree from direct sun so as not to develop leaf burn. 

Plant in moist, humus rich, well-drained soil with light to deep shade. It blooms in the spring and has beautiful fall color.

This tree can be difficult to find at nurseries.  Plant it in a shade garden or other large space to account for its mature size and in a location where its interesting bark can be enjoyed.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#interesting bark#wildlife plant#moths#shade garden#yellow leaves#fall interest#fast growing#gold leaves#nighttime garden#hairy leaves#pollinator plant#larval host plant#deciduous tree#humidity tolerant#rough leaves#moth larvae#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#imperial moth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#interesting bark#wildlife plant#moths#shade garden#yellow leaves#fall interest#fast growing#gold leaves#nighttime garden#hairy leaves#pollinator plant#larval host plant#deciduous tree#humidity tolerant#rough leaves#moth larvae#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#imperial moth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    nipponicum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the genus Acer support Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Shade tolerant
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit wings up to 2 inches long, held at obtuse angles, nutlets globose. Seeds are often sterile.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Attractive long pendulous racemes appear with leaves in the spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are deeply veined and have an interesting rough texture the underside is pubecent. Leaves are 4 to 8 in., opposite, simple and light green with 3 to 5 oval shallow lobes that terminate in a point. The leaves are deeply cordate base, and margins are doubly serrate. Upper side of leaf is rough and almost embossed looking and has a rusty brown pubescence on underside. Yellow to golden brown color in the fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Green
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    It has smooth gray-brown bark and intensely green bark on younger stems.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Intensely green bark on younger stems. The terminal bud is often aborted or lacking.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Humidity