Amur Maple (acer ginnala)

Amur maple, a small deciduous treeĀ is native to China and Japan. It does particularly well in colder climates, where many other trees fail.

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.

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.

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.

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