Good deal on Acer griseum?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by kaspian, May 20, 2008.

  1. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I thought I was done with maples for the year, but the local garden center just got a shipment of lovely, well-branched A. griseum. The little trees are about one meter/three feet tall, with trunks maybe 2cm in diameter, widening somewhat at the base. They're priced at $60 US (with a 10-percent discount for frequent customers).

    It's interesting to note some differences in the bark at this stage among the half-dozen specimens. Some are already beginning to exhibit peeling bark while in others this tendency is less apparent. Is this trait somewhat variable?

    I haven't read up too much on this species, but I notice that some posters here seem to be fond of it.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Unique ornamental tree. Bark does seem to vary in stock offered, also it appears related species have sometimes been displayed by local outlets instead.

    Jacobson, NORTH AMERICAN LANDSCAPE TREES (1996, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley) says

    "R. Lancaster reports some in China have dark, close bark"
     
  3. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A beautiful tree .... the last to leaf out in Spring and the last to lose its leaves in Autumn
    Quite expensive over here
     

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  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kaspian, it is a wonderful and relatively easy tree. Takes sun well. Less slow growing than advertised.

    I've seen triflorum for sale as griseum. But there is a natural range of age for when the bark starts peeling. My sense is to pick one that is already, but maybe others have different ideas.

    Plant this tree, you will never regret it. 3 season interest, only high summer is a little tern.

    -E
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I think A. triflorum is also the imposter that has appeared here.
     
  6. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    and

    This is interesting indeed. I've been wondering whether these two species might have been conflated somehow in THE YEAR IN TREES by Kim E. Tripp and J.C. Rawlston (Timber Press, 1995). The description and photos in that volume depict A. triflorum as having "magnificent peeling bark, even at a young age ... warm light brown in color."

    This is inconsistent, however, with another reference (THE TREES OF NORTH AMERICA by Alan Mitchell; Facts on File, 1987), which gives A. triflorum the common name "roughbark maple" and depicts a tree with no sign of peeling bark. It remarks that both trees are similar to A. nikoense, though the latter is faster-growing.

    My own baby Acer triflorum came from Forest Farm in Oregon, whose catalog describes "dark brown furrowed bark" -- no mention of peeling -- while the catalog description of A. griseum ("red-brown bark peels in fine strips") would seem to fit the plants at the garden center.

    The baby A. triflorum in my garden -- probably too young to serve as a basis for firm judgment -- has rough, pale brown bark that looks quite different from that of the A. griseum on sale, which is rather smooth where it's not peeling. The three-part leaves look similar, though the potted griseum trees are still leafing out, so it's hard to be sure. (This gives credence, BTW, to the claim that they are "hardy northern-grown" plants, a selling point of this local establishment.)

    I don't know what to think but I'm planning to buy this very appealing plant.

    This Acer fascination has caught me by surprise. I've always rather thought of myself as a Quercus man. I can only hope this doesn't spread to Prunus or anything awful like that.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The two do have foliage differences which helped me decide some stock here was the other species. The bark of cultivated forms at least is good enough to be described as worthwhile, although I don't know about "magnificent".
     
  8. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    A. triflorum has a rough, almost corky bark, that exhibits quite young. However it doesn't peel, so it sound as if Trip and Rawlston have it wrong. They are indeed describing A. griseum as far as I can tell.

    A. griseum is generally seed grown, and so exhibits the usual variation between specimens. Some seem more brown, some redder; some start peeling early, others only at a certain girth.

    I have seen a cultivar mentioned, presumably this is grafted; although I have heard grafting is difficult. I wonder if they use griseum or some other root stock. The plants are expensive because the germination rate is low and growth slow enough that young plants have to be kept in stock for a few years.

    LOL! Call the CDC, or maybe AA. ;)

    -E
     
  9. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  10. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have both and they are quite different. Leaves on Triflorum are larger and brighter green. It is also very dense. The bark on mine is more greyish brown with the typical furrowing, never pealing. The Griseum always darker reddish bark, smooth at first, and mine started peeling in its 4th year, and is now a good 8' tall. It is much more sparsely leaved in a similar setting and does leaf out later than Triflorum. Sam, yours definitely looks like griseum. Triflorum seems to grow faster. I bought both as 3-yr trees from Mountain Maples. I love them both, but Triflorum is a stunning tree, definitely one of my favorites.
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That's a real Acer griseum you have there!
     
  12. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree, I also have both, Sam's is certainly griseum. I assumed Ron was talking about some other example, actually.

    The bark on my griseum gets quite dark brown in winter, it hasn't really done the cinnamon thing yet. Sam yours is a nice one.

    -E
     
  13. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    now is avaible Triforum X Griseum ,i have Griseum X Pseudoplatanus ,have a good look
    with a good under color leaves (purple),big leaves,and fast grown....
    however i have Griseum and is one my preferite maples,bark after 6/7 years is fantastic
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The common name for A. triflorum rough-barked maple alludes to the curling bark. Small specimens offered here (as paperbark maple) have had little rolled-up golden scrolls on their trunks. Otherwise closely similar Nikko maple has smooth bark.
     
  15. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I see that the learned RonB avoids my question :)
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What question?
     
  17. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That one :)
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    No, I wasn't.
     

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