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hablamos español

Acer griseum

Paperbark Maple
  • Plant Type:
  • Tree
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Deciduous
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Small
  • Also Grown As:
  • Natural Low Branching
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • 15-25' x 10-15'
  • Natural Growth Habit:
  • Rounded
  • Native To:
  • Asia
  • Exposure:
  • Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Water:
  • Medium Water
  • Flower Color:
  • Insignificant
  • Special Features:
  • Attractive Bark, Attracts Birds/Butterflies, Cold Hardy, Fall Color, Intermountain Conditions
  • Container Sizes:
  • #15, 24" Box
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 2-9, 14-21
  • Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone:
  • 5


Distinguished by its peeling reddish bark that beckons even the most vaguely interested to approach for a closer look, this Chinese native will provide visual interest year-round. A typical mature specimen will be 25 feet tall and wide with individuals inclined to be either upright, oval, or irregular. Pruning (or a lack thereof!) during youth will determine a specimen’s final shape. This deciduous tree tends to be slow-growing so there is ample time for pruning. Emerging branches are fuzzy but lose their downy appearance as they age, becoming progressively smoother and eventually peeling like a snake sloughing off its old skin. The 3-5” leaves are three-lobed, green above, and frosty white to pale green below. The leaves achieve their rosy red glory late in the autumn. The flowers are insignificant but the winged seeds that follow them are yellow and prominent. Paperbark maples are rather rare, coveted by those enamored with unusual species that bring interest and novelty to the landscape.