Acer caudatum G.Nicholson
Acer sterculiaceum K.Koch
Drawing of the leaves and fruit
Photograph by: M.Y.Saleem
Acer acuminatum is a deciduous tree, often multi-stemmed, that can grow up to 15 metres tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a tea and source of wood.
E. Asia - W. Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal
Open ravines on shady aspects at altitudes between 2,400 - 3,300 metres[
]. Mixed forests at an altitude of 2,700 - 3,100 metres in Tibet[
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Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil[
] in 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.
This species is often confused with A. papilio[
Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms must be grown if seed is required.
The leaves are used as a tea substitute[
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[
Wood - compact, moderately hard. It is seldom used[
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. Good results are usually obtained.