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Acer Griseum, commonly known as the Paper Bark Maple is a deciduous tree that has peeling papery light brown bark. This bark looks stunning with the dark green three lobed shaped leaves that appear in early spring.
In autumn, this beautiful specimen showcases a fabulous display of rich autumn colours with the leaves progressively turning yellow, orange and then deepest red. Acer Griseum is a beautiful specimen that will add a splash of colour to your garden throughout the seasons. Even during the bleak days of winter, after the tree has lost its foliage, it still makes an interesting garden specimen because of its diverse bark that stands out in stark contrast to the landscape.
Acer griseum produces an eye-catching rounded globe-shaped canopy. It has an open growth habit. As the tree ages, the bark on the trunk starts to peel in paper lengths to reveal the tree’s new cinnamon bark. In the spring months, the tree produces tiny yellow flowers that are followed by winged seeds known as ‘samara’ which the wind blows to various locations. However, the seeds produced by today’s Acer griseum trees are normally sterile so will not produce unwanted seedlings.
The Paper Bark Maple grows best in full or partial sunlight. It likes well-draining moist soil. During extreme heat it prefers additional watering. Applying a layer of mulch around the base of the tree will help keep the soil moist during the height of summer. The Acer griseum prefers acidic soil but will cope well in any well drained fertile planting site. It will tolerate clay conditions if the clay readily drains. During the spring months, fertilize with a general purpose fertilizer to promote new growth.
The Acer griseum is native to China and was first introduced to Europe by seeds brought from China by Jesuit Missionaries. It was later introduced to the United States by E.H. Wilson in 1901. Mr. Wilson worked through the Arnold Arboretum.
The Paper Bark Maple has a maximum height 5m with a spread 3m over 50 years. Its small stature makes it ideal for most gardens and landscapes.