Plant Common Name
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Touted for its cold hardiness and tolerances of air pollution and drought, Amur corktree also possesses multiple ornamental features. A wide-spreading, open-branched deciduous tree, it hails from northeastern China, Korea, Japan and extreme eastern Russia. A fat, short trunk branches out into muscular, irregular boughs. The soft, corky bark mimics the look of a coarse, tan snake skin, begging to be touched.
Amur corktree is dioecious, displaying tiny, yellow-green, male or female flowers on separate plants. Only female trees produce the rounded black fruits in tip clusters. Birds eat these aromatic fruits. In many temperate climates, the proliferation of weedy seedlings causes this tree to be considered invasive and problematic. The compound leaves are glossy dark green, each comprising seven to 13 pointed oval leaflets. Autumn foliage is inconsistent, usually yellow-green, and leaves quickly fall from the branches. Occasionally a branch displays more intense yellow leaves, and in some climates this tree's fall display is no less than breaktaking.
Grow Amur corktree in a spacious landscape that allows the wide-spreading boughs and umbrella-like canopy to fully develop. Full to partial sun is needed. The best growth occurs in moist, non-alkaline soils with good drainage, but the tree is widely tolerant of many soils. Long-term environmental stresses causes the tree to not look or perform its best, but it does manage to survive.
Male cultivar 'RNI 4551', better known as Shademaster®, develops a more upright, rounded growth habit for use near boulevards. Other male selections that do not shed fruits and seeds into the landscape include 'His Majesty' and 'Macho'.
AHS Heat Zone
8 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 7
A3, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Full Sun, Partial Sun
30'-45' / 9.1m - 13.7m
35'-45' / 10.7m - 13.7m
China, Japan, Korea
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter