Acer griseum Paper-bark maple

Paper-bark maple
  • Height 10 years: 2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Multiple tints

As the name suggests the Paper-bark maple is known for its characteristic peeling papery bark. The top layer gradually peels away, contrasting with the newer orange-brown bark underneath, and providing year-round interest.

The distinctive large three-lobed leaves emerge quite late in the spring, and then take on orange and red hues in the autumn.

Clusters of pale-green flowers are produced in late spring.

Acer griseum is native to central areas of China. It was brought to the attention of western collectors at the start of the 20th century.

Paper-bark maple trees for sale

Height in 10 years
Price inc. VAT
2-year half-standard Paper-bark maple tree - in a 7L pot
2.5m-3.5m tall after 10 years
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How to grow

Acer griseum is slow-growing but capable of reaching heights of 10m in the warmer areas of the UK after three or more decades - but most reach about 5m or so.

It is best grown on good soils in full sun, and this will give the best autumn leaf colours. However it tolerates some shade and will also grow on chalk soils.

If you need to prune, do so in early winter.

Paper-bark maple characteristics


  • Attractive features: Attractive bark Autumn foliage colour
  • Height 10 years: 2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • Growth habit: Upright
  • Growth rate: Slow
  • Sunlight: Prefers full sun Some shade
  • Useful for: Open spaces
  • Hardiness rating (RHS): H5 (to -15C)
  • Pruning: Do not prune
  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners


  • Country of origin: China
  • Flowering month: April
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Leaf colour - young: Green
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Multiple tints
  • Annual cycle: Deciduous
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Bark: Brown - chocolate Peeling
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