Paperbark Maple


Acer griseum

Leaves: Deciduous. Compound leaf is 3-6” long with three leaflets (trifoliolate). Leaflets are 2-2½” long, ½ as wide. Leaf edge has a few coarse teeth and is dark green to blue-green color with a frosty silver underside. Leaves turn red in the fall.

Bark/Twigs: Older twigs and trunk have characteristic cinnamon red-brown colored bark which peels off in thin, curly strips.

Flowers/Fruit: Inconspicuous flowers. Fruit is a seed (samara) 1-1½” long with wings at a 60-90 degree angle.

Mature size and shape: Small to medium. 20-30’h x 15-25’w. Upright rounded to oval shape with a relatively open crown. Usually has a multi truck form or branches close to the ground.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Performs best in moist, well-drained soil. Tolerant of a variety of soil conditions.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Good ornamental tree with year-round interest. Works well for small gardens and patios. Provides filtered, not dense, shade. Slow growing rate. Average maintenance. Can become “twiggy” on the inside which needs pruning.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Family/Origin: Aceraceae – Maple. Native to central China.

Campus use: Uncommon. Can be found northwest of Union (Bld 53) and southeast of William Browning (Bld 11).