Acer griseum is also known as Paperbark maple. Brought here from Western China, this small shade tree is an excellent small tree for small properties, maturing as a small ornamental tree, where the ornamental feature in this case is the bark! Appropriate as an under-story tree in a woodland garden or as a specimen in many locations around the home. The Paperbark Maple(Acer griseum) is a tree to be seen in every season.
Papery sheets of old bark peel back to reveal new bark the color of cinnamon-brown, making it the perfect backdrop on snowy December days. Copper, cinnamon, or orange trunk usually branches a few feet above the ground, creating an upright multi-branched effect, casting a light shade. This hardy deciduous tree has an upright oval growth habit in youth, becoming upright rounded with age.
The paperbark maple tree becomes twiggy inside when it gets older. It is noted for its peeling, cinnamon to reddish brown bark. This tree is a slow grower (6 inches - 12 inches per year) with a medium texture, and will grow up to 20-30 Ft height with 15-25 Ft in width. The trifoliate leaves are dark green with variable fall color ranges from green-chartreuse to yellow, or bronzed to reddish red. The leaves are 3-6" long, opposite and compound, and are silvery underside.
The compound three leaflets are each up to 2" long, having crenate to dentate margins with distinctly pubescent lower surfaces, with the leaf petiole also very pubescent. It is one of the last maples to develop fall color, and the leaves persist into winter. The twigs are brown-red, pubescent, and becoming very exfoliating and more lightly colored on young branches.
The maple pendulous green inflorescences that appear in May are noticeable, but not especially ornamental. It will develop two semi-divergent (45 degree angled) winged samaras seed per stalk, in pendulous clusters from the twigs. Hardiness Zones: 4-8 (-32c/-25f, -10c/15f). The paperbark likes full sun but will tolerate up to ½ day shade. It prefers moist, well drained soil but grows in a variety of soil types, even in heavy clay.