Botanical name: Acer griseum
What it is: A slow-growing, mid-sized, deciduous shade tree best known for its peeling cinnamon-colored bark. Green leaves turn red in fall.
Size: 20-25 feet tall and 18-20 feet wide in 20 years.
Where to use: Great front-yard specimen or patio tree (if planted 10 feet away from the patio paving). Also nice centered out any window view for its winter interest. Full sun to part shade.
Why I like it: This is one of the smaller, slower-growing maples that’s just the right size for a typical suburban yard. It’s not too big to swallow a landscape and not so small that it doesn’t give much shade.
Fall foliage is nice, but the main attraction is that peeling bark that makes paperbark maple a four-season beauty.