Amur Maackia – Maackia amurensis

Amur Maackia – Maackia amurensis
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

Native to Manchuria. Mature Height: 20-30
Feet . USDA Hardiness Zones 3-7. 

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Amur Maackia - Maackia amurensis

Amur Maackia is a slow-growing, deciduous tree which reaches 45 feet in the wild but is most often seen at 20 to 30 feet in landscapes. The multi-divided leaflets are grey/green when young but mature to dark green, and often drop in fall without significantly changing color. In summer, dense, erect, 8-inch-long racemes of bloom appear, each small, off-white flower tinged with very pale, dark-blue. These blooms are followed by the appearance of flat, two to three-inch-long pods. Amur Maackia may be well-suited to use as a street or container tree (or in other confined soil spaces in urban areas), where the peeling, orange/brown, shiny bark is especially noticeable. Usually seen with numerous small-diameter trunks originating from the lower trunk. Thirty-five-year-old, single-trunked trees have a diameter of about one foot.

Features: White flowers in upright clusters, in early to mid summer; bark is bronze to copper and peels on older branches. Culture: Full sun; moist, well drained soil; pH adaptable. Crown density: moderate. / Growth rate: slow / Leaf arrangement: alternate / Leaf type: odd pinnately compound / Leaflet margin: entire / Leaflet shape: oblong; ovate / Leaflet venation: pinnate / Leaf type and persistence: deciduous / Leaflet blade length: 2 to 4 inches.*

Uses: Container or above-ground planter; large parking lot islands (> 200 square feet in size); wide tree lawns (>6 feet wide); medium-sized parking lot islands (100-200 square feet in size); medium-sized tree lawns (4-6 feet wide); recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in the highway; near a deck or patio; shade tree; small parking lot islands (< 100 square feet in size); narrow tree lawns (3-4 feet wide); specimen; residential street tree; no proven urban tolerance.*

Amur Maackia Flowers and Foliage

Lower branches slowly droop toward the horizontal as the tree grows forming an attractive outline – almost the perfect small tree form. If grown near a walk or along the street be sure to prune early in the life of the tree to locate the lower branches far enough up on the trunk where the drooping branches will not interfere with traffic below. This will eliminate the need to prune older trees which reportedly close over the pruning wound very slowly. Most branches grow upright and will form a wonderful canopy over a sidewalk or narrow road. Amur Maackia should be grown in full sun on well-drained soil, either acid or slightly alkaline. Plants should receive not be exposed to excessive flooding. Amur Maackia has nitrogen fixing bacteria associated with the root system and should require little maintenance other than some pruning early in the life of the tree. It should be grown and planted more often. It was one of the most drought tolerant trees during the 1988 drought. Propagation is by seed or by cuttings.*

*Pests and Diseases No pests or diseases are of major concern.  — USDA Forest Service Fact Sheet ST-367

1. Amur Maackia, Morton Arboretum accessions 147-71*4 & 5, photos: Bruce J. Marlin

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Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
The Fabaceae, or legumes, are mostly herbs but include also shrubs and trees found in both temperate and tropical areas. They comprise one of the largest families of flowering plants, numbering some 400 genera and 10,000 species. Peanuts, beans, peas, wisteria and locust trees are among the family.
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