Acer griseum

paperbark maple

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Rick Peterson / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

You cannot walk by this tree without noticing the chestnut-brown peeling bark. Attractive year-round, this warm, rich bark makes an especially welcome contribution to our winter gardens. The dark summer green leaves change to shades of pumpkin orange and brick red on trees growing in full sun, buttery gold with an apricot flush on trees in part shade. This is a great tree for the small garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 18 ft. 0 in. (5.49 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: green

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established, but appreciates occasional water during very long dry spells

Seasonal Interest: autumn foliage color, attractive peeling bark year-round

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Disanthus cercidifolius, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’, Corylopsis pauciflora, Helleborus x hybridus, Muscari latifolium

Great Color Contrasts: yellow, pink, white, blue

Great Color Partners: orange, red, green

Culture Notes
Paperbark maple is one of the few trees that will develop good fall color in dappled and deep shade as well as full sun. In shade the colors will be softer apricots and butter yellows. It will tolerate a wide range of soils including compacted urban sites, sand and clay. Avoid locations where water puddles and does not drain away. Very little pruning is needed to maintain a beautiful specimen; only remove poorly developed branches, dead wood or broken limbs.