Acer Species, 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)
Synonym:Acer nikoense var. griseum
Synonym:Acer pedunculatum



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Moscow, Idaho

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

Brewster, New York

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

Portland, Oregon

Newtown, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Greer, South Carolina

Franklin, Tennessee

Lenoir City, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Orem, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

King George, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Linden, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Blakely Island, Washington

Quilcene, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Hudson, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 26, 2016, Sown_ja from Willits, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I'm in Zone 6, which was Zone 5 twenty years ago. (climate change, folks), in area of Idaho known for moderate winters, moderate precip. My paperbark maple is 17 years old (ordered from small local nursery Fiddler's Ridge), and
- provides light, open shade on west side of house
- leafs out late, welcome in chilly early springs
- colors late, extending the fall season
- fall color here is NOT scarlet or red. It is a glowing, muted pink, like the color shown on Dave's Garden webpage : )

Water/shade/temperature needs:
It receives roof runoff, late fall- late spring. My city, Moscow, uses water conservation. This, and dwarf fruit trees, is the only tree I usually water during the summer, 2-3 times during dry months. It is native to China, at 5,... read more


On Apr 26, 2016, ptporebski from New Port Richey, FL wrote:

I live in a zone 9b, West Central Florida. Does anyone know if this tree will survive in the direct sun here? I have a North exposure that is somewhat protected but still gets direct sun during the summer.


On Apr 23, 2016, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

My old woody plant teacher of Dr. Michael Dirr had this as his favorite tree species in the 1970's at the University of ILL. It is an expensive ornamental tree offered by some larger nurseries and garden centers, and is only infrequently found in the US. A customer of mine in southeast Pennsylvania has an excellent 30 feet high specimen. It has produced four seedlings in the plant beds around over about 20 years. It is slow growing of about 6 to 12"/year. It often colors a good orange to red late in the fall that does not last long and is partial, with some foliage remaining green. Native to central China.


On May 30, 2015, AAbels from Brewster, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I planted this tree last fall in full sun near my driveway. It has already grown about 15 inches and has filled out significantly. The foliage and bark are beautiful and it has not yet shown any sign or sun damage.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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


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