Small Maple Trees

There are many Acer Maples that are suitable for small spaces and small properties, as well as even smaller ornamental maples that work well in perennial gardens or as accent plants.

Small ornamental trees benefit from spring fertilization.  Use a slow release granular fertilizer with equal parts NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium).  Sprinkle around the root zone according to directions in spring.


Acer griseum Paperbark Maple

  • Zones:  4-8
  • Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Height:  20-30’
  • Spread:  15-25’
  • Shape:  Upright and oval to rounded crown
  • Growth Rate:  Slow
  • Soil Preference:  Prefers moist well drained but will grow in a variety of soil types.
  • Moisture:  Average to moist, will not tolerate drought.
  • Foliage:  Green with a silvery underside.
  • Blooms:  Insignificant flower
  • Fruit:  None





Paperbark Maple has beautiful cinnamon to reddish exfoliating bark.  As the tree matures the old bark is pur ple bro wn.  It is a ver y har dy tree, stro ng and slow growing.  The branching becomes rather twiggy on the inside, which is not necessarily problematic but may be kept thinned.  The crown is not dense and casts a light shade.  Foliage turns bright red and orange in autumn, and leaves hold on into winter.  Paperbark Maple is an interesting alternative for an ornamental tree in zone 4, where unfortunately, the more tender Japanese Maples will not survive.


Acer beurgerianum Trident Maple

  • Zones:  5-8
  • Full Sun
  • Height: 25-35’
  • Spread: 20-30’
  • Shape:  Upright rounded crown
  • Growth Rate:  Slow to moderate
  • Soil Preference:  Well drained soil, will tolerate dry infertile soil
  • Moisture:  Average, drought tolerant.
  • Foliage: New growth is pruple to bronze, then turns green
  • Blooms:  Insignificant flower
  • Fruit:  None

Trident Maple is a wonderful urban tolerant tree with a smaller stature than most maples, but still large enough to provide some shade.  It is quite tolerant of soil compaction, salt, wind and air pollution.  It will also tolerate drought well without leaf scorch.  Winter ice build up may cause limb to break.  In autumn foliage turns yellow, orange, and red, turning a bit later than most maples.

TreesSharon Dwyer