Acer griseum (Franch.) Pax
Paperbark maple is a native of central China. It is not found in the wild in North America, though it is sometimes planted in landscapes.
Identification: Trees are 20-30' (6.1-9.1 m) tall and up to 25' (7.6 m) wide. The peeling, papery bark is a standout characteristic of this species. It varies from cinnamon-colored to dark, almost purplish brown as it ages, leaving a patchwork of color gradations on the trunk and branches. Leaves are opposite, in groups of three, serrated, green on top, pale bluish-green or silvery below, 3-6" (7.6-15 cm) long × 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide. In the fall, they turn red/orange. Yellow-green, inconspicuous flowers appear in April. Fruits are winged samaras; each wing is about 1" (3 cm) long.
See this comparison table of members of the maple family.
Acer griseum on leafsnap.com
Acer griseum at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Acer griseum on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Acer griseum at the University of Connecticut Plant Database
Acer griseum on WikiBooks.org
Acer griseum on www.treetopics.com
Acer griseum on eFloras
Acer griseum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.
Range: Zones 4-8: