Maple trees are known for their fall colors and the Amur maple certainly lives up to this reputation. With variety names like 'Flame' and 'Embers', this small tree (or large shrub) will set your yard ablaze in autumn with its red or orange leaves. These two varieties, along with 'Red Wing', also have red samaras.
The Amur maple works well in the urban garden. It's on the smaller side, so it can fit in most people's landscapes.
This tree is able to handle some shade, salt, and drought.
Latin Name: This is a maple tree and is placed accordingly in the Acer genus. The full Latin name for this species is Acer ginnala. You may also see this written as Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala.
Common Names: I almost always see this listed as the Amur maple. You might also see it sold under the name Siberian maple.
Preferred USDA Hardiness Zones: The Amur maple can be placed in a site that is in Zones 3-8. It originally comes from Asia; specifically, it is native to Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Siberia.
Size & Shape: Look for this tree to reach a height of 15-20' tall and the same distance wide once it is mature. It forms a round shape and may have several trunks.
The green leaves are 1 1/2-4" long. They feature three lobes with the side lobes being shorter than the middle lobe. Fall colors will be green, red or orange depending on the variety.
In April and May, panicles of small fragrant white flowers are produced.
As with all maples, the Amur maple produces winged samaras in pairs.
Some varieties have green samaras and some are red.
If you leave it as a multi-trunked shrub, it can be pruned and trained for use as a hedge.
The Amur maple tree has the potential to be invasive depending on the area. You may want to check in with your local extension office to see the tree's status in your state.
Growing Tips For the Amur Maple
You need to choose a site with an acidic or neutral pH as alkaline soils can cause the tree to develop iron chlorosis. Make the soil more acidic as needed.
The tree also prefers to have moist soil that drains well.
Prune and train the tree in winter to have a single trunk if desired by choosing a central leader.
New trees can be propagated by seeds that have been soaked in water for a day and stratified for a few months. They can also be grown from cuttings, which is necessary to preserve the characteristics of varieties as seeds will not be true to type.
Pests & Diseases
For the most part, this maple species is generally free of pests. If you notice holes in your trunk that are lined up, you might have a yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) in the neighborhood. You can use woodpecker deterrent methods to help keep your trunk healthier.
Other pests include:
- Two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae)
- Crown gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens)
- Giant tar spot (Rhytisma acerinum)
- Iron chlorosis
- Leaf spots
- Phytophthora cankers and rots (Phytophthora spp.)
- Verticillium wilt (Verticillium spp.)