Acer griseum – Photo Friday

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Here’s a photo I took last week when checking out a stock of trees with my sister.  She lost her cherished magnolia tree during tropical storm Irene, so we spent the afternoon browsing potential replacements.  As we walked around various trees during our magnolia hunt, we came across this showy paperbark maple!

Acer griseum

The bark on this maple, Acer griseum, developes at a young age, and as you can see on this photo is just amazing “as the tree matures” too.  I love that cinnamon brown coloring and the layers of the bark peeling.  The leaves are dark bluish to green and turn bronzy red in the fall with hints of orange.  Usually the leaves stay on the tree into late fall – so this tree has fall and winter beauty!  To me, the bark character is often more important than leaves when it comes to tree characteristics.

Hardy to zones 5-7(8), reaching a height of about 10-15 feet, and taking sun to part shade, if you spot a paperbark maple on sale this fall season, don’t pass it up!

Oh – and the leaf shape is different too, 3 lobed with serrated edges.  So the bark a-peal, the different leaves, and the coloring from top to bottom make it worthy for this Photo Friday post!  Cathy T

P.S. My sister is still on her magnolia hunt – I plan to post about this story later!