With their copper-colored peeling bark and interesting arrangement of branches, paperbark maple trees make a wonderful addition to the winter landscape in the Hudson Valley.
Known botanically as Acer griseum, these showy, slow-growing trees also offer deep green leaves with a silvery underside in spring and summer and a crimson-colored crown in fall. At full upright maturity, they will reach a height of 40 feet.
Here’s a wonderful paperbark maple I found at the NY Botanical Garden.
Paperbark maples are hardy to USDA Zone 4, but they do best when planted in a somewhat sheltered spot with filtered instead of direct sunlight and moist, well-drained soil.
For the most part, they are pest and disease resistant. Like all maples, they have very shallow roots, so be careful what you plant around them.
Allen Paterson, the author of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Best Trees for Your GardenÃ¢â‚¬? (Firefly, 2003), suggests planting a few paperbark maples in your garden instead of a solitary specimen.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It often looks lonely,Ã¢â‚¬? he writes. Ã¢â‚¬Å“A little grove of three or five planted 15 feet apart would make a wonderful legacy.Ã¢â‚¬?