Common Name: Hawthorn-Leaved Maple
Acer crataegifolium is a deciduous tree growing up to 7 metres tall. The bole can be 15cm in diameter[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use in paper making.
E. Asia - central and southern Japan
Common in temperate deciduous forests, usually growing in open places along mountain paths or at streamsides and in young secondary forests at elevations of 200 - 1100 metres[
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Acer crataegifolium is a very cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -20 to -25°c when dormant[
Of easy cultivation, it succeeds in most good soils preferring one that is moist and well-drained[
]. Prefers a sunny position but tolerates some shade[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Chlorosis can sometimes develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy as to soil pH.
Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
We have two reports that the leaves of maple species, when laid in layers between crops such as apples, carrots and potatoes, have a preservative effect[
]. The reports do not name any specific species[
A paste made from the bark is used in paper-making[
Seed - this species does not usually hybridise so seed of garden origin is perfectly all right. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 - 4 months at 1 - 8°c. It can be slow to germinate. The seed can be harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions.
Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus.
Cuttings of young shoots in early summer . The cuttings should have 2 - 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter.
Grafting of cultivars can be carried out using the rootstock from any species in the Macrantha section of this genus, which includes the species A. pensylvanicum which is included in the database.