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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Acer griseum - Paperbark Maple

This maple is such a nice small tree. Its hard to believe its not planted more often. It has the bark of a Marina Strawberry, the fall color of a pistachia and the coolness factor not matched by many trees. The paperbark maple generally has a rounded or slightly oval shape growing to about 20 feet tall with an upright open branching pattern. Trees may be variable in size and interestingly in the extent of their exfoliating bark. I have seen numerous trees through the years, some do not exfoliate much when young and they don't seem to grow into it. So, dont buy one thats not showing the great paperbark characteristic.

This one in its winter glory at my favorite botanical garden, the Missouri Botanic Garden.

Here are three plants showing their fall color up north.

This maple is one of a group of maples with trifoliate leaves. There are quite a few and they are fun to collect. Trifoliate means they have compound leaves with 3 leaf blade areas.  The terminal leaflet is symmetrical, while the laterals are not. The laterals generally have one or two lobes on one margin that is not matched on the other side. If you were to pull the three leaflets together they would look one leaf.  Lower surface of leaves are pubescent. Nice dark green in summer.

Fall color just getting started.

Flowers are small greenish color and pendulous. This shows a few flowers and a few developing fruit.

Fruit like all maples are in pairs. They are called samaras. These are generally brown, hairy, and about 1-1.5" long.

Thin stems and a dark brown almost black pointed bud.

The bark is key. Exceptional on young and old trees. Worth planting just for the bark. It looks even better with snow on them, but snow is something I can do without. Oh well, still looks great.

Misidentification: other trifoliate maples? Hmmm, I have not seen more than a few. There is a young A. triflorum in SeaCliff.  If you are guessing by the bark, have a look at the leaf arrangement, maples are opposite, Arbutus are alternate and have leaves all year.....


120 Sandpiper Ln Rio Del Mar nice one.

Columbus Drive. Owner asked me not to post the address so a bunch of crazy tree people  dont show up at the house looking at the tree. I tried to tell him no one reads this anyway. Its really the nicest one around.

Jewell box. 4691 Crystal. Nice smaller one.

1 comment:

  1. I discovered your blog today. It’s very interesting: nice pictures, detailed and curious explications. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and passion! A bunch of crazy tree people does read you.
    Yuliya (horticulturist), Montreal