Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Paperbark Maple, Paper Bark Maple
Acer griseum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: griseum (GREE-see-um) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

28 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 54 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive rteets On Aug 3, 2013, rteets from Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

One of the greatest joys of this tree is winter interest. Of course, the bark is crazy beautiful all year but in the winter it really takes center stage so plant it where it can be clearly seen from a window. Mine has grown about a foot a year and now that it's around 15 feet tall it is a stunner. It is well worth a place in the garden.

Positive herrderringe On Sep 17, 2012, herrderringe from Salmon Brook, CT wrote:

Does anyone have experience growing Acer griseum from seed? I just collected them--9/17/2012--and am willing to share!

Neutral lupine On Jun 20, 2011, lupine from King George, VA wrote:

Yes, the bark is interesting. I have one that I have grown for a little over 10 years. It is a slow grower. One problem is die-back of the branches. I cut dead out of it every year. I have seem them South of where I live in a Botanical Garden and the ones they grow also have die-back as you can see where they have pruned out the dead.

Positive SteveTiffany On Jun 20, 2011, SteveTiffany from Buffalo, NY wrote:

I coveted this tree for years after seeing a fully mature specimen on the campus of Purdue University - absolutely stunning. I have grown this tree in Salt Lake City, Utah and now in Buffalo, New York with absolutely no problems. The leaves seem immune to any insects or diseases. The fall color is very attractive, and, of course, the peeling bark with contrasting deep and light cinnamon tones is delightful. The tree is a slow grower, and you can expect to pay a pretty penny for even a modestly sized plant. Plant one now and your grandchildren will thank you.

Positive Terry On Oct 24, 2009, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

The University of Tennessee Knoxville office recommends Acer griseum as a tree suitable for planting near septic lines.

We purchased an 8-foot tall specimen for our front lawn, after having two huge silver maples removed last fall. (They were way too big for the area, and way too close to power lines and the septic field.)

Given the photos we've seen and the information we've read, we're looking forward to watching this tree show off each fall and slowly mature to its full height of 25 feet or will be much more in scale with our single-story home and the surrounding landscape.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Acer griseum PAPERBARK MAPLE Dec (z5) (Bon)
"One of the most beautiful of all small trees" (Hillier); red-brown bark peels in fine strips; spectacular scarlet fall color Sun-PSh/Med

Positive joshz8a On Apr 21, 2005, joshz8a from z8a, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

After seeing photos and seeing it recommended on almost any "desirable trees" list in numerous books, I bought the first I saw in a local nursery. It was only 12" tall but already the bark was flaking and it had lovely foliage and form. I've grown it for 8 years now in a 12-inch clay pot. It's only 36-inches tall but a beautiful little tree...delightful watching the new leaves unfold each year and then in fall as they turn red. It's not authentic bonsai...I just enjoy growing hardy shrubs and trees in pots and they usually do well for me in z8a. This is one of my favorites! josh z8a


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phenix City, Alabama
Fayetteville, Arkansas
San Carlos, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
Denver, Colorado (3 reports)
East Granby, Connecticut
Hanna City, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Urbana, Illinois
Evansville, Indiana
Shelby, Iowa
Wichita, Kansas
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Portland, Maine
Edgewater, Maryland
Monkton, Maryland
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Fenton, Michigan
Kansas City, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Buffalo, New York
Great River, New York
Newfield, New York
Southold, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Akron, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Gresham, Oregon
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Greer, South Carolina
Franklin, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Orem, Utah
King George, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Linden, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Quilcene, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Hudson, Wisconsin
Racine, Wisconsin

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