Question about Paperback Maple

ssmarilynDecember 25, 2008

I saw a picture of this beautiful tree in Country Living magazine and immediately fell in love with it. My favorite time of year is fall and I just can't get enough of the bright colors. My question is this...I have no idea what zone we are in. We are a southern suburb of the Twin Cities in MN. I see by the magazine article that the Paperback Maple is for zones 4 to 8. Am I in one of those zones? (pray pray!) If I am in the correct zone for this lovely tree, I'll ask some more questions about it. Thank you in advance!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Paperbark Maple is produced by Bailey nursery in St. Paul. While I'm not certain they are growing these there (they also have an Oregon operation) I think they probably are. If you are in the same zone as St. Paul that may indicate you have a good chance of success. You could also ask about the tree at local outlets and look for it in nearby parks and gardens.

You are liable to get the best advice from independent garden centers rather than chain stores, where the person you ask might not even know what a paperbark maple is. A big box plant department is not a nursery.

Here is a link that might be useful: USNA - USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map: North-Midwest US

    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 4:30PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I agree with bboy about going to an independant garden center for good info.
Here's a picture of mine showing Fall color and bark.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 4:09PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Notice the conspicuous undersides of the fallen leaves lying upside down on the ground.

"Its specific epithet griseum is Latinized from the French gris, gray - referring to the grayish-glaucous leaf underside"

--Jacobson, North American Landscape Trees (1996, Ten Speed, Berkeley)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 4:44PM
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Couple of suggestions for ssmarilyn - Your might contact Gertens Garden Center in Inver Grove Heights (although they do not list it in their catalog) and speak with their nursery folks. And then there's the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum out toward Chanhassen who if it will grow there, I'm almost sure they would have it along with a recommendation.


Here is a link that might be useful: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 2:09AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

There's a hardier form sold at Gee Farms if I remember correctly, maybe it's Girard's. That could be worth an investigation.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 10:01AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Bailey nursery says paperbark maple is hardy to Zone 5 on their web site. 'Girard's Selection' ('Girard's') may be a hybrid with Nikko maple. It was grown from seed collected in NY. There is also this offering (as with products from Bailey nursery you would not buy from them directly but rather look for them at retail outlets).

Here is a link that might be useful: GINGERBREAD-pdf.pdf

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 2:24PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Yes, try independent garden center. Big Box stores are worthless in my IMO except for cheap nice compost and mulch. I was given a free small paperbark maple by a local maple grower for me to experiment in caliche soil and I didn't even ask for it. I just simply asked him about it. I figured it couldn't hurt plus shantung and big tooth (Texas sugar maple) maples are growing in caliche soil with no apparent serious problems so worth a try...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 4:29PM
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Bailey nurseries has one planted outside of their St. Paul main office. Although I don't know the details, something looked off about it. The top looked disproportionately smaller than the trunk diameter. Winter injury? Not sure. They are fairly slow growing so maybe that is normal.

I have seen it sold here at several local, indie garden centers. Mine only has one winter under its belt so I won't make any claims to hardiness, but was not damaged last winter. I have yet to get any significant fall color, but the bark is great.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:18AM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

Fall color seem to be somewhat variable. I have planted 5 of them. 1 has only fair color and the newest 3 I planted 2 years ago had OK color last year and great color this year.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:03AM
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I've managed to keep one alive for a few years now, but very slow growing in an optimal setting, although the tree may disagree with this. Fall color is not nearly as nice as A. triflorum, but its also not as big either. I've seen a decent-sized hybrid and wasn't overly impressed with it. The bark was not nearly as nice as a seedling A. griseum, which is the main point of growing it. BTW, there's also a decent sized Paperbark Maple growing at a Squire House Gardens in Afton, MN. A few nice magnolias planted on the grounds as well. Selma's ice cream parlor is across the street. How can you go wrong?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:07PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you look at the GINGERBREAD pdf linked to above that clone - as depicted by Lake County nursery - looks quite similar to a paperbark maple.

On the Bailey web site they describe the fall color as variable and being partly green. Must be a regional thing. Usually it has good fall color.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:31PM
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Its not bad, Ron, but not as nice as a pure Paperbark. The exfoliation isn't nearly as pronounced and to me looks more like A. triflorum. If that's OK with the poster, then I'd suggest they go with a triflorum since its hardier and can have brilliant fall color. Paperbark is definitely a crap shoot in z4 and dieback can be expected. I'll 2nd Marshall's advice and suggest you take a trip out to Chanhassen. In the maple section you'll find about a 35' triflorum that is drop dead gorgeous. It was planted in the early 1960's. I don't believe there's a Paperbark on the grounds.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 9:53AM
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