Amur maple tree images

Amur Maple Tree

Amur maple, a small deciduous tree formerly listed as A. ginnala, is native to China and Japan. It does particularly well in colder climates, where many other trees fail.

Description of amur maple: The amur maple makes a small tree or tall shrub, growing to 25 feet high with smooth, light-gray bark on young branches. The leaves are small for a maple, only 3 inches long, toothed, and have three main lobes. They turn scarlet red in the fall. The seeds vary in color but, in the best clones, are bright red. The plant is one of the rare maples with flowers of any interest. Yellow and fragrant, they appear in spring before the leaves.

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How to grow amur maple: Plant the amur maple in just about any conditions, although it prefers good, well-drained soil and full sun or, at best, partial shade. It tolerates alkaline soils particularly well. It can be trained as a small tree through pruning or allowed to grow as a tall shrub. The tree grows relatively upright when young, but it eventually takes on a round-headed appearance. NOTE: This tree is invasive in central and northern North America.

Uses for amur maple: A good tree for small lots and patio plantings, the amur maple is tolerant of city conditions and is relatively pest free. It makes an excellent screen or small specimen tree.

Amur maple related species: The tartarian maple (Acer tataricum ssp. tataricum) is similar and can be distinguished from the amur maple by its barely-lobed leaves. Some experts consider them two variants of the same species.

Amur maple related varieties: A number of varieties have been chosen for their brighter fall colors or red fruit. ‘Flame’ is a particularly choice selection with bright red fall leaves.

Scientific name for amur maple: Acer tataricum ssp. ginnala

Plant of the Week: Maple, Amur

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not promote, support or recommend plants featured in “Plant of the Week.” Please consult your local Extension office for plants suitable for your region.

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Amur Maple
Latin: Acer ginnala

Amur maple is a low-branched tree that is usually as wide as it is tall.

Fall is the season for maples, of which there are many. The large trees with enormous mops of bright red and orange foliage get most of the press in autumn, but a number of smaller maples are available and have something to offer in smaller spaces. One of these lesser-known and easy-to-grow species is the Amur Maple, Acer ginnala.

Amur maple grows as a low-branched small tree or large shrub reaching 15 to 20 feet in height and spread. Most Amur maples are seedling grown, so there is considerable variation in plant form and fall color, but most trees branch a foot or two from the ground and produce smooth, gray-brown bark. As young trees they are very fast growing.

The leaves are 2 to 3 inches long, three-lobed and glossy green in the summer. In the fall, color ranges from yellow to orange and red. Several color combinations will often be seen on the same tree. Fall color development occurs at a young age. Trees produce heavy crops of seeds in the fall, and an occasional seedling may be found amongst the flowers.

The Amur maple’s common name comes from the name of the river in northern Asia from which it was collected during a four-year long expedition by Russian botanist Carl Maximowicz (1827-1891). His Amur River expedition was from 1853 to 1857. Seeds of a number of common garden plants – including the Amur maple, Amur honeysuckle and Amur corktree – were introduced to the West when he returned to the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden. Maximowicz also spent five years collecting plants in Japan, so many common garden plants were identified and collected as a result of his work.

The Amur River is 1,755 miles long and runs generally east from near the eastern end of Mongolia to the Sea of Japan. It forms the border between China and Russia during much of its length. Most of its watershed is between 45 and 50 degrees North latitude, an area in this hemisphere equivalent to the U.S.-Canadian border.

Though there may be considerable variation in color, the best clonal selections of Amur maple have good orange-red fall color.

The Amur maple is useful for screening, creating a backdrop for garden plantings or wherever a small specimen plant is needed. Because it is hardy from zones 3 through 8, it has considerable root hardiness and can be used in above-ground containers and raised beds where other more tender species might freeze out. It will grow equally well in full sun or light shade. Fall color development is equally good for plants growing in shady portions of the garden.

Like all maples it has a shallow, fibrous root system, so planting a groundcover planting at the same time as the tree is planted is a good idea. A number of selected clones are available with ‘Flame,’ ‘Embers’ and ‘Red November’ good choices for reliable red color development.

By: Gerald Klingaman, retired
Extension Horticulturist – Ornamentals
Extension News – October 29, 2010

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture does not maintain lists of retail outlets where these plants can be purchased. Please check your local nursery or other retail outlets to ask about the availability of these plants for your growing area.

TOPIC: what to do with a multi-trunked tree

Question from a NY landowner: My silver maple tree has several trunks. What would happen if I cut them back to only one trunk? Should I leave it as is? Had them on our farm lawn previously and they were messy. Always seemed to have bark, etc. on the lawn to clean up. Also, if I keep trimming around it as I have will it still grow more trunks?
Our Answer: I have seen a few of these before. A beautiful tree, but it does make a mess, and is often multi-trunked. Here’s some answers, and some additional points to consider as you make a decision about your silver maple.
Yes, if you cut it back to a single trunk, new shoots are likely. Silver maples are really good at that. But you can just cut them off once you spot them. Birches can do that too. Not uncommon.
Location matters. If the tree is away from your house and driveway or any other infrastructure, then I would just leave it. Silver maples can grow into very large trees that provide a lot of shade. But if the tree is right next to your house or driveway, then I would consider taking down the trunks that are leaning in that direction. This is because silver maples are notoriously weak and susceptible to wind damage and rot.
Size matters. How thick are the trunks? This is important because the larger the trunk, the more susceptible to rot after being cut. If they are 4″-6″ thick max, then risk is minimized. If larger than 6″ thick, then that is a sizable wound, especially if you are cutting back several trunks.
I have family in New York City with the exact situation. Because the tree was very close to their house, and because the tree was on track to tear apart their walkway and wall, I advised them to cut down the whole tree. In their case, even trimming it back to a single-stem would not have saved their walkway and wall. Silver maples just get too large for tight spaces. Many cities (like Syracuse) are cutting down their silver maples for these reasons.
So, should you cut it? It depends. But hopefully these points will help you make a decision.

Amur Maple (multi-stem) in fall

Amur Maple (multi-stem) in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Amur Maple (multi-stem) fruit

Amur Maple (multi-stem) fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a “special order” plant – contact store for details

Height: 20 feet

Spread: 25 feet

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 2a

Description:

The perfect ornamental tree for smaller home landscapes with incredible fall colors ranging from orange to scarlet and burgundy red, neat habit and colorful seeds in late summer; multi-stemmed selection is wide spreading and artistic when mature

Ornamental Features

Amur Maple (multi-stem) is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features abundant showy red samaras in late summer. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The lobed leaves turn outstanding shades of orange, scarlet and burgundy in the fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Amur Maple (multi-stem) is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Amur Maple (multi-stem) is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

Amur Maple (multi-stem) will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

* This is a “special order” plant – contact store for details

Acer buergeranum: Trident Maple1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2

Introduction

This deciduous, 30-to 45-foot-high by 25-foot-wide tree has beautiful 3-inch-wide, tri-lobed leaves, glossy green above and paler underneath, which turn various shades of red, orange, and yellow in autumn. Flowers are bright yellow and showy in the spring. Trident maple naturally exhibits low spreading growth and multiple stems but can be trained to a single trunk and pruned to make it branch higher, allowing passage below its broad, oval to rounded canopy. With its moderate growth rate, attractive orange-brown peeling bark, and easy maintenance, trident maple is popular as a patio or street tree and is also highly valued as a bonsai subject. Crown form is often variable and selection of a uniformly-shaped, vigorous cultivar is needed.

Figure 1.

Mature Acer buergeranum: Trident Maple

Credit:

Ed Gilman

General Information

Scientific name: Acer buergeranum Pronunciation: AY-ser ber-jair-AY-num Common name(s): Trident maple Family: Aceraceae USDA hardiness zones: 4B through 9B (Fig. 2) Origin: not native to North America Invasive potential: little invasive potential Uses: specimen; deck or patio; street without sidewalk; container or planter; shade; parking lot island < 100 sq. ft.; parking lot island 100-200 sq. ft.; parking lot island > 200 sq. ft.; tree lawn 3-4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft. wide; urban tolerant; highway median; Bonsai Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree Figure 2.

Range

Description

Height: 30 to 45 feet Spread: 25 to 30 feet Crown uniformity: irregular Crown shape: oval, round Crown density: moderate Growth rate: moderate Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite (Fig. 3) Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: serrate Leaf shape: star-shaped Leaf venation: palmate Leaf type and persistence: deciduous Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches, 2 to 4 inches Leaf color: green Fall color: red, orange, yellow Fall characteristic: showy Figure 3.

Foliage

Flower

Flower color: yellow Flower characteristics: showy

Fruit

Fruit shape: oval Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch Fruit covering: dry or hard Fruit color: red Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don’t droop; showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure Breakage: resistant Current year twig color: gray, brown Current year twig thickness: thin, medium Wood specific gravity: unknown

Culture

Light requirement: full sun, partial sun or partial shade Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; alkaline; well-drained Drought tolerance: moderate Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate

Other

Roots: not a problem Winter interest: yes Outstanding tree: yes Ozone sensitivity: unknown Verticillium wilt susceptibility: susceptible Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

Trees grown in partial shade can grow much taller (up to 60 feet tall), especially when the crown is touching adjacent trees preventing branches from spreading. The tree is reported to be weak-wooded in North Carolina but some of this may be due to poor structure, not weak wood. This can be at least partially prevented by pruning major lateral branches so they grow no larger than half the diameter of the main trunk. Be sure that there are no weak crotches with embedded bark, or double or multiple leaders which could cause the tree to split apart. Specify single-leadered trees when planting along streets or in parking lots or other commercial landscapes.

Trident maple has not been extensively used as a street tree, probably due to its unavailability, but the cultural requirements, size, and form make it a great candidate. It should also be planted more around residences and commercial landscapes due to its pleasing form and small size.

Trident maple should be planted in full sun or partial shade on any well-drained, acid soil and is quite tolerant of salt, air pollution, wind, and drought. Like other maples, some chlorosis can develop in soils with pH over 7 but it is moderately tolerant of soil salt. It performs well in urban areas where soils are often poor and compacted. Trees are easily transplanted due to their shallow root system and are fairly ‘clean’ trees since they do not drop messy leaves, fruit or flowers.

Several cultivars are known, with trees having dwarf growth, corky bark, variegated leaves, and a variety of leaf shapes. Some particularly good cultivars include: ‘Akebono’, ‘Goshiki Kaede’, ‘Maruba’, and ‘Mino Yatsubusa’. They have not been tested extensively in urban areas and will probably be very hard to find.

Propagation is by seed or young-seedling cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern, a very clean tree.

Footnotes

This document is ENH168, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

Amur Maple

Common Name: Amur Maple
Scientific Name: Acer ginnala Maxim., syn. Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala
Legal Status: Specially Regulated

Any person, corporation, business or other retail entity distributing Amur maple or its cultivars for sale within the state, must have information directly affixed to the plant or container packaging that it is being sold with, stating the following: “Amur maple should only be planted in areas where the seedlings will be controlled or eradicated by mowing or other means. Amur maple should not be planted closer than 100 yards from natural areas.” View the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law for more information.

Background

Amur maple a native of central and northern China, Manchuria and Japan. It was introduced to North America in the 1860s. In the U.S., it is present and invasive throughout the Northeast and Midwest states. It has been widely sold and planted in Minnesota as an ornamental landscape tree, as a windbreak, and in hedges or screen plantings.

  • Amur maple is a deciduous large shrub or small tree that grows to 20 feet, with brilliant red fall color. May grow in either a multi-stemmed or single-trunk form.
  • The leaves are opposite, 3-lobed with toothed margins, and are longer than they are wide.
  • Flowers are fragrant, white, and arranged in loose clusters. Bloom time is April and May when new foliage appears.
  • Fruits are red, ¾ – 1 inch long, double-winged samaras typical of maple trees. Each fruit has two seeds.
  • Bark is smooth and gray on young branches and grayish-brown on older branches.
Flowers photo by Leslie J. Mehrhoff,
University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Bark, photo by Karan A. Rawlins, University
of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Fall color, photo by T. Davis Sydnor, The
Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
Leaves, photo by Rob Routledge, Sault
College, Bugwood.org
Seeds, photo by Leslie J. Mehrhoff,
University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Tree, photo by T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio
State University, Bugwood.org

Habitat

Amur maple is found in open woodlands, forest edges, open disturbed areas, roadsides, and in ornamental landscapes. It grows in a wide range of soil types and moisture levels. It will tolerate shade, and is often planted as a small understory tree.

Means of spread and distribution

Each tree can produce 5,000 or more fruits per year. The seeds are winged samaras, mostly landing within 100 meters of the parent tree, but a small portion can be carried long distances by wind and water. Various cultivars of Amur maple are produced and sold in Minnesota, planted for their fall color and ability to thrive in a variety of soils, including disturbed urban soils.

Amur maple is reported as present in 42 counties in Minnesota, especially in the northeastern part of the state.

Amur maple has been found to produce allelopathic chemicals. It can alter habitats, invading prairies, grasslands, or open woodlands and adding a shrub layer. It will displace native shrubs and understory trees in open woods and shade out other sun-loving native species.

Prevention and management

  • Follow the label instructions when planting Amur maple; do not plant within 100 yards of any natural areas where seedlings would not be controlled. There are a variety of native species that can be substituted for Amur maple. You can find these recommendations on the Minnesota DNR website.
  • Small infestations can be controlled manually by digging and removing the root crowns. Saplings are easily pulled by hand or controlled by mowing.
  • Prescribed burning can be an effective method of control on established populations. Make sure to contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to learn more about control burning practices and regulations.
  • Infestations can be controlled by cutting and treating the stumps with herbicide or basal bark spray treatments. For specific herbicide recommendations, check with your local University of Minnesota Extension agent, co-op, or certified landscape care expert.

Amur maple

Quick facts

Amur maple is a MDA Specially Regulated Plant in Minnesota.

  • Sellers must affix a label that advises buyers to only plant Amur maple and its cultivars in landscapes where the seedlings will be controlled by mowing and other means.
  • Amur maple should be planted at least 100 yards from natural areas.
  • Amur maple displaces native shrubs and understory trees in open woods; shades out native grasses and herbaceous plants in savanna habitat.

Amur maple should be reported when found in wild areas. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides detailed recommendations for reporting invasive species.

How to identify amur maple

  • Amur maple is a small tree up to 20 feet high with a broad crown, but is sometimes pruned as a hedge.
  • Twigs are smooth and light colored.

Amur maple twigs

Stem

  • Mature bark is faint gray developing thin vertical stripes.
  • It resprouts easily from the cut stump.

Branches

  • Opposite leaves.
  • Longer than wide, with three shallow lobes and double-toothed edges.
  • Turns a brilliant red in fall.

Amur maple seeds

Flowers

  • Fragrant flowers appear in loose clusters with young leaves in May and June.

Fruit and seeds

  • Numerous reddish, two-winged, 1-inch-long fruit mature in late summer.
  • These “helicopter seeds” disperse easily in the wind.

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

Flame Amur Maple in fall

Flame Amur Maple in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Flame Amur Maple fruit

Flame Amur Maple fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 20 feet

Spread: 20 feet

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 3a

Description:

A spectacular choice for its reliable blazing red fall color and bright red fruits in summer, this is a shapely small tree; very hardy and adaptable, great as a fall accent in smaller home landscapes

Ornamental Features

Flame Amur Maple is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features abundant showy scarlet samaras in late summer. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The lobed leaves turn outstanding shades of scarlet and in the fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Flame Amur Maple is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Flame Amur Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

Flame Amur Maple will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

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