An outstanding ornamental tree introduced from China in 1901, extremely slow growing, the Paperbark Maple almost never outgrows its space. Small gardens and patios are ideal settings for this tree, as a good view of this tree in winter from your window is a great way to enjoy it. Planted primarily for its cinnamon-brown peeling bark, it is highly accentuated by winter snows. The bark begins to peel off in thin sheets on second year wood, so you don’t have to wait long to enjoy it.
Paperbark Maples must be transplanted balled and burlapped or containerized and prefer a moist well-drained soil with a pH of 5 to 7. It is sometimes hard to obtain trees larger than 5-6 feet due to transplanting difficulty. Trees of a larger stature require great care in maintaining the root ball and command higher prices. Slow to establish themselves, growing only 20 to 30 feet tall, they are worth the wait.
The leaves are compound with three elliptic leaflets about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Dark green on top with soft silver hairs underneath, they become bright red and orange in the fall. The foliage casts a light shade in summer and provide a late autumn splash of color into November. Requiring little to no pruning and having no serious insect or disease problems, Paperbark Maple is a spectacular ornamental.