Acer nikoense Hort
Acer nikoense megalocarpum Rehder
Common Name: Nikko Maple
Acer maximowiczianum is a deciduous tree with a round-topped crown; it can grow 12 - 15 metres tall, occasionally reaching 25 metres. The bole can be 30 - 45cm in diameter, exceptionally to 70cm. The tree is usually smaller in cultivation, becoming a small bushy tree or vase-shaped shrub[
The tree is harvested from the wild for use as a medicine. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
E. Asia - eastern China (Anhui, Hubei, Jiangxi, Zhejiang), central and southern Japan
Deciduous forests; at elevations from 500 - 1,500 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Acer maximowiczianum is a very cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -25°c when dormant[
Acer species are generally of easy cultivation, growing best in full sun or light, dappled shade and succeeding in most well-drained but moisture-retentive soils[
The tree is very beautiful in autumn when the leaves turn rich red or yellow[
An androdioecious species with some trees producing only male flowers and other trees producing hermaphrodite flowers[
The bark is taken internally in the treatment of eye diseases and hepatic disorders[
The barkt contains diarylheptanoids and phenolic and aromatic compounds. Preliminary research suggests nikko maple might have hepatoprotective effects. Other preliminary research suggests it might inhibit nitric oxide production, possibly reducing inflammation. Constituents in the plant might also have antiallergic properties[
Nikko maple seems to have activity against cancer cells. Preliminary research suggests it induces cancer cell death. It also seems to have free radical scavenging activity and might enhance the cytotoxic activity of vitamin C on cancer cells[
Seed - 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.