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Paper-bark maple

Acer griseum
Paper-bark maple
Paper-bark maple has received the RHS Award of Garden Merit

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.

Paper-bark maple maple trees for sale

  • 12-year pot-grown tree £59.00
    In a 7L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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  • 22-year pot-grown tree £65.00
    In a 12L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
    Out of stock
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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.


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

Paper-bark maple characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • AwardsRHS AGM (current) 1993
  • Attractive featuresAttractive barkAutumn foliage colour
  • Growth habitUpright
  • Height after 10 years2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sunSome shade
  • PruningDo not prune
  • Growth rateSlow
  • Flowering monthApril
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnMultiple tints
  • BarkBrown - chocolatePeeling
  • Country of originChina
  • Annual cycleDeciduous