Common Name: Paperbark maple
Origin/Ecology: Native to central China.
Habit: Small, oval to oval-rounded tree with slender upright branching.
Leaves: Trifolate leaf features 3 coarsely toothed leaflets, with the middle leaflet being short-stalked. Leaves are green above, frosty blue-green to gray-green with fine hairs beneath. Fall colour varies, typically ranging from showy shades of orange and red to less spectacular shades of reddish-green to bronze green.
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite.
Flowers and Fruit: Ornamentally insignificant yellowish flowers bloom in April to early May in clusters (drooping cymes to 1″ long) with unusually large seeds.
Bark: The bark on the trunk and limbs is extremely ornamental because it peels into large curls which remain on the tree rather than falling to the ground, often in attractive contrast to the tan to rose-brown inner bark.
Water Use, Soil: Easily grown in average, slightly acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Prefers moist, well-drained soils. Intolerant of drought.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
Landscape Uses: Excellent small tree for small properties. Ornamental tree, or understory tree in woodland garden. Popular bonsai.
Limitations: No serious pests or diseases. Propagation is difficult (approx. 95% of seeds are not viable). Woody cuttings are difficult to root, but juvenile cuttings are easier to root.
Other Features: Shoots are densely downy at first, wearing off by second or third year.