Fantastic Design Plant: Paperbark Maple

Suited to small gardens but both at home in bigger landscapes, the paperbark maple is guaranteed to be a favorite feature in your garden.

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Botanical name: Acer griseum
Common title: Paperbark maple
USDA zones: 4 to 2 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Water frequently until recognized
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 18 feet tall and 15 feet wide
Benefits and tolerances: Tolerates both clay and sandy land; no pruning is necessary
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Preferably in spring or autumn; I’ve successfully implanted this in August with daily irrigation.

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Distinguishing attributes.
Striking cinnamon-colored exfoliating barkBeautiful fall color

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How to use it. Play off the rich bark color by surrounding this maple with foliage and flowers in sunset colors of gold, orange and burgundy.

Orange montbretia (Crocosmia) seem beautiful exploding from the foundation — even their seed heads form an exciting venture, as seen here.

Avoid obscuring the shrub with evergreen plants. Its bark is one of the highlights of the winter landscape.

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Think about the backdrop where the tree is seen. In this picture the warm cedar shingles are a perfect foil for the autumn foliage and bark.

Planting notes.
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Amend the soil you have removed with about 20 percent well-rotted compost.Add some bonemeal into the planting hole and mix it this boosts root growth.Add the tree into the hole and backfill cautiously tamping down gently.Water thoroughly.If you are feeling staking is necessary, make sure to allow some motion — this really helps encourage more powerful roots.Keep the tree well watered for the first two decades; after that water during prolonged dry spells.

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