Gardening Answers

Paperbark Maple in Winter!

mdwyer | Posted in Midwest Gardening on

As winter settles in throughout the Midwest, our eyes examine a muted landscape where any hint of texture and color will catch the eye. The ornamental bark of so many of our woody plants becomes more pronounced and noteworthy.

One of my favorite smaller trees for amazing bark is the paperbark maple (Acer griseum).  The cinnamon colored, flaking bark is mesmerizing in the landscape and while more pronounced on younger trunks and stems, becomes a focal point in those winter months when the paperbark maple becomes a rock star!

What are your favorite trees or shrubs for interesting bark characteristics?


  1. User avater Moderator
    DrPulte_Moderator | | #1

    This is one of my top trees!

    1. User avater Moderator
      mdwyer | | #3

      Acer griseum is a bit touchy for us in southern WI although I bet you have no problem! We occasionally get to see some great, late fall color (red) from this one too!

  2. User avater Moderator
    Chloe_Moderator | | #2

    Any white barked birch species, especially in combination with rhodos or other evergreens, and river birches, too!

    1. User avater Moderator
      mdwyer | | #6

      It's been nice to see "bronze borer-resistant" paper birches (Betula papyrifera) become available. We use Renaissance Reflection® and Renaissance Oasis® in our area now and so far, so good!

  3. User avater Moderator
    LSweeney_moderator | | #4

    Oak leaf hydrangea is a favorite for me for winter interest.

    1. User avater Moderator
      mdwyer | | #5

      Love oakleaf hydrangeas in general although I wish more folks (like you!) would appreciate the exfoliating bark on the stems! Showy for sure!

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