The Paper Bark Maple tree, Acer griseum has beautiful peeling, cinnamon coloured bark all year round. It is suitable for most average sized gardens and will grow on any soil with decent drainage. Acer griseum is a very popular, fairly small ornamental tree. Its dark caramel coloured bark is beautiful for 12 months of the year and is a delight in winter when the branches are bare. Old trees will become about as wide as they are tall if they are not pruned and the tree's canopy is an uneven circle with mid-green leaves that casts quite dense shade in summer. The autumn leaf colour is a vibrant red. Like most maples, this tree doesn't have very showy flowers, but they do appear just before the leaves emerge in spring and attract hungry bees. The flowers mature into winged seeds. Paper Bark Maple trees can reach a height of about 8-10 metres.
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For those who know the Stourhead National Trust garden in Somerset, there is a magnificent specimen immediately after the ticket office at the entrance to the park near the Spread Eagle pub. Acer griseum was introduced from central China by Ernest Wilson in 1901. It has won the RHS Award of Garden Merit.