Amur Cork Tree – Phellodendron amurense

Amur Cork Tree – Phellodendron amurense
Family Rutaceae – Cork & Citrus

Amur cork is considered invasive in North America where it displaces native hardwood species.

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Amur Cork Tree foliage

Amur cork tree is listed as invasive in both the U.S. and Canada. It is prohibited in Massachusetts as a noxious weed. Native: Eastern Asia (northern China, Manchuria, Korea, Ussuri, Amur, and Japan); introduced to North America as an ornamental.

Description: A deciduous tree that reaches 50 feet. Mature specimens have short dark gray trunks with deeply ridged and corky bark, and widely spreading crowns. The leaves are dark green above, much paler below, yellow in the fall, 11 to 14 inches long. The pinnately compound leaves consist of 5-13 slender papery leaflets. Upright cluster of small maroon to yellow-green flowers 2 to 3 inches long, appear in late spring to early summer. Clusters of fleshy, black berries 3/8 inch in diameter remain on the trees into the late fall and winter. Each small berry is contains five seeds.

Habitat: It is adaptable to various environmental conditions in USDA zones 4-7. It is heat-loving, cold and drought tolerant, adaptable to clay to light sand soil types and has no serious pest problems. In areas with ample moisture and good soil, the tree produces large amounts of seed.

Amur Cork Tree
This Amur Cork is 80 years old

Distribution: Invasive in IL, NY, PA, VA, and Pennsylvania. This tree is demonstrating invasive characteristics in suburban and urban fringe forests. It escapes intended plantings to invade and displace native hardwood forest. Note: only female plants have potential to become invasive.

Control and Management: Plant only male trees, practice disturbance prevention. Manual- Hand pull seedlings, focus on reducing or stopping fruit production and spread. Chemical- It can be controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate. Biocontrol: Natural enemies of Amur cork tree include four fungi and nine Lepidoptera. [1]

Amur Cork Tree bark

Trees 10-30 m tall, d.b.h. to 1 m. Leaves 7-13-foliolate; rachis glabrous to pubescent; leaflet blades ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 6-12 × 2.5-4.5 cm, papery to thinly papery, apex acuminate. Inflorescences and infructescences ± lax, rachis, branches, and pedicels slender. Fruit globose, ca. 1 cm in diam. Seeds ca. 6 × 3 mm. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Sep-Oct.

Montane forests and thickets, river valleys. Anhui, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shandong, Shanxi, Taiwan [Japan, Korea, Russia (Far East)]. This species is widely cultivated.
Phellodendron amurense var. wilsonii was accepted by C. E. Chang (Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 3: 527. 1993).  [2]

Amur Cork Tree

  1. USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Staff, Newtown Square, PA, Weed of the Week
  2. Flora of China, Phellodendron amurense
  3. Amur cork, Morton Arboretum acc. 568-27-3 photos © Bruce Marlin
Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders is dedicated to providing scientific and educational resources for our users through use of large images and macro photographs of flora and fauna.

Family Rutaceae – Cork & Citrus
Plants in this family are herbs, shrubs, and trees with commonly odoriferous herbage comprising about 150 genera and 1,500 species; further characterized by the common occurrence of spines and winged petioles. The Citrus genus includes the agriculturally important fruit trees: orange, lime, grapefruit, kumquat, and mandarine
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