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Miyabe maple

Acer_miyabei_treeMiyabe maple, Acer miyabei

Scientific Name

Acer is Latin for “sharp” and may also be from the Celtic ac, which means “hard” in reference to the wood.

Common Name

Miyabe maple is the common name for Acer miyabei.


Miyabe maple is native to Japan.


Not native to Kentucky


Growth Habit and Form

Miyabe maple is a medium-sized, deciduous tree with a dense crown and round to loosely conical habit. Trees grow moderately rapidly to 30-40 feet in height with a spread equal to height. The canopy casts dense shade. Miyabe maple has a graceful habit at maturity.


Leaves are opposite, simple, 3 to 5 inches long and slightly wider, mostly 5 lobed, each lobe with prominent indentations and tapering to a point that is blunt at the tip. Leaves have deep sinuses, entire margins, and exude milky white sap when detached. Leaves are dark green above and olive-green and pubescent (covered with short soft hairs) below. The leaves remain green into October and then rapidly turn golden yellow. Fall color is short in duration.


The greenish yellow flowers are born in slender-stalked clusters in May.


Fruit is a pair of winged seeds called samaras. The wings of the fruit are held horizontally and each samara is ½ to 1 inch long. The nutlet is silky-hairy. Fruit is produced in the fall in great abundance.


The bark is gray-brown to red-brown and corky when young, becoming fissured and then scaly with a fluted trunk.

Wild and Cultivated Varieties

‘Morton’ (State Tree TM) has an oval habit and yellow fall color.


Landscape Use

Miyabe maple is a durable, long-lived, small to medium size deciduous tree with a dense crown and exquisite foliage. It makes a nice specimen tree for the small residential area.

Hardiness Zone

Hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 7.

Growth Rate


Cultivation and Propagation Information

Miyabe maple prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soils, and full sun. It can tolerate some dryness. Miyabe maple is propagated by seed and vegetative cuttings. Seed should be collected as soon as possible to prevent seed coat drying. Three months cold stratification will overcome seed dormancy.

Diseases and Insects

No common problems.

Wildlife Considerations

Maple trees provide homes, shelter and food for wildlife.

Maintenance Practices

Miyabe maple needs minimal maintenance.


Miyabe maple tree is an excellent ornamental for the small residential area but may be difficult to obtain. It was introduced into cultivation in 1892.