AMUR CORK TREE - PHELLODENDRON AMURENSE

Common Name: Amur cork tree, cork tree

Scientific Name: 
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Phellodendron
Species: P. amurense

Hardiness Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 30 to 45 ft
Width: 30 to 60 ft

Common Characteristics: ​

Amur cork tree is a medium sized tree, typically 30-45 feet at maturity with a short trunk and a broad crown. The leaves are opposite, odd-pinnately compound and have entire margins. Each leaf has 5-11 leaflets (4.5 inches each) and they are yellowish-green to green in color. They have yellowish-green flowers in panicles in the spring and black, fleshy fruits on female trees in the fall and winter. These drupes are typically 0.5 inches in diameter and are odorous when crushed. In the autumn the leaves are yellow. The mature bark is grayish-brown in color, furrowed, and corky in texture. The inner bark is neon-yellow. The twigs are smooth, brown, and with white lenticels. 

Where It Grows:

Amur cork tree is prefers moist, alkaline, well-drained soils and full sun. It is tolerant of shade, road salt, drought, dry soils, and urban pollution. 

How It's Used:

Amur cork tree is a landscape tree used in parks or large areas, however it is not considered a good street tree due to its short trunk and low, wide-spreading branches. Many enjoy its attractive bark and foliage. 

Ecosystem Services:

Birds will eat the drupes.

Where It Is Native To:

Amur cork tree is native to China, Korea, and Japan. 

Known Varieties and Their Traits:

His Majesty (Phellodendron amurense 'His Majesty'): A hybrid of P. amurense and P. sachalinense that is vase-shaped and typically fruitless. 

Macho (Phellodendron amurense 'Macho'): This variety has dark green leaves and is fruitless.

Shademaster (Phellodendron amurense 'RNI 4551'): A fruitless variety with a spreading crown. 

Superfection (Phellodendron amurense 'Supzam'): A fruitless variety that is pyramid-shaped.

Problems:

Amur cork tree can be aggressive in spreading and the fruits on female trees can be messy. 


References:

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Morton Arboretum 

Yale Nature Walk

Amur corktree
Amur corktree leaf

 

Amur corktree bark
Amur corktree flower