Acer nikoense

Nikko Maple




  • native to Japan and part of China, but uncommon there
  • zone 5, probably good in 4 as well

Habit and Form

  • small, rounded or vase-shaped tree
  • deciduous, 20' to 30' tall
  • typically with a single, short main trunk
  • relatively slow grower

Summer Foliage

  • opposite, trifoliate, with 2" to 4" long leaflets
  • leaflets are fuzzy underneath and relatively robust and thick when hardened-off

Autumn Foliage

  • can turn reddish or burgundy, but the color is usually yellow with muted red overtones


  • yellow, not especially showy
  • May


  • felt-covered samaras, 1" to 2" long


  • smooth, nonexfoliating, ash gray and handsome


  • best grown in slightly acid, moist, well-drained loamy soil
  • full sun to partial shade

Landscape Uses

  • shade or lawn tree for small yard
  • specimen
  • rare or uncommon plant


  • relatively maintenance and problem free
  • can be difficult to locate in commerce

ID Features

  • large, sharp-pointed terminal bud
  • buds often clustered at shoot tip
  • bud scales densely pubescent except for brown band at the top of each scale
  • pubescent, robust, trifoliate leaves


  • by seed, but like Acer griseum, the percent viable seed is low


  • none

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.