Paper maple (Acer griseum)

The trunk of Acer griseum is robust

Image - Wikimedia / Ram-Man

Is the Acer griseum one of the maple species with the most striking trunk? Well, this will depend on the taste of each one. In my opinion, it is a tree with a very, very high ornamental value, not only because of its bark, but also because of the autumn red that its leaves turn when the cold arrives.

So, if you love deciduous trees that get beautiful after the summer, and if you also live in a place where the climate is mild, the paper maple may be a most interesting plant to have in your garden. yard.

What is the origin of Acer griseum?

The Acer griseum is a deciduous tree

Image – Flickr/Quite Adept

El Acer griseum, also called paper maple or gray Chinese maple, is a tree that, as you can imagine, It originates from Asia, to be more exact, from central China. It grows in cool, slightly acidic soils, almost always exposed to direct sunlight but can also be found in somewhat sheltered areas.

As a curiosity, tell you that came to the West in 1899, when Briton Ernest Henwy Wilson bought one in China and brought it to England that year. And from there, its cultivation spread to the United States.

How is it?

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, usually growing to about 15 meters tall at most., but that may well remain smaller (over 10 meters), or on the contrary reach 18 meters. The bark is one of the things that attracts the most attention, since it is red-orange in color, and it also comes off in layers that look like paper.

The crown is made up of trifoliate leaves and they have a dark green upper side and a glaucous green underside, except in autumn when, as I said, they become reddish. Each leaflet measures about 7 centimeters long by 4 centimeters wide.

Blooms during spring, and it usually does so before the leaves sprout or at the same time as them. These flowers are very small, and appear in corymbs. When pollinated, the fruits, which are disamaran (two united winged seeds) ripen.

What do you need to live well?

The leaves of the Chinese paper maple are medium

Image - Wikimedia / Salicyna

It's a maple it can be in a place with mild temperatures during a good part of the year, and with frosts (and snowfalls) in winter. In other words, it is not a plant to have in the Mediterranean region, nor in any other where summer temperatures exceed a maximum of 30ºC and a minimum of 20ºC for many days/weeks in a row.

Likewise, Nor can it lack moisture, both in the environment (relative air humidity) and in the soil. It does not support drought. But be careful: it would be a mistake to plant it in a soil that floods quickly, and that also has a hard time absorbing that water, since it needs a soil with good drainage.

How to take care of Acer griseum?

If you have decided to buy one, The first thing I recommend is that you leave it out from minute 1. It is a tree that has to be outdoors, because it needs to feel the changes that take place over the months, the wind, the rain.

The only thing is that if in the nursery they had it in the shade, you have to put it in the shade (or semi-shade, so that it gradually gets used to sun exposure) because otherwise the leaves will burn.

But you also need to know the following:

The soil must have a low pH

In other words: It must be slightly acidic, with a pH between 5 and 6. This is very important to take into account, because it will be the soil in which its roots grow and, if it is not suitable, the tree will not be healthy.

If you want to grow it in a pot, you have to fill it with a special substrate for acid this. It is also important that said container be of the right size; that is to say, if the bread of earth/root ball is about 5 centimeters high and about 7 centimeters wide, for example, the pot should measure more or less double.

Care must be taken that the soil does not remain dry for long.

Since it does not resist drought, but neither does excess water, what we will do is, if it does not rain and we see that the earth is dry, irrigate. You have to use rainwater, or if there is none, one that is suitable for consumption.

In the event that it is in a pot, we will water it several times a week during the summer, and the rest of the year we will space the risks so that the substrate dries a little.

It will be paid in spring and summer

It is highly recommended to do it during those seasons, since that is when it is growing. Thus, will be paid with organic fertilizers, like manure or compost for example.

If we are going to have it in a pot, we can fertilize it with liquid fertilizers such as this or with specific fertilizing cloves for acid plants.

What is its resistance to cold?

Acer griseum turns red in autumn

Image - Wikimedia / Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

El Acer griseum It supports frost and even snowfall very well. Holds up to -15ºC. Of course, if there are late frosts and it has already begun to sprout, it is recommended to protect it a bit -for example with an anti-frost cloth such as this– so that the ice does not burn the leaves.

What did you think of this tree?

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