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TREES & plants

Amur corktree (male only)

Mature specimen of Amur corktree in fall color.

Amur corktree can be invasive. Look for male cultivars which do not produce the messy fruit that females do.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name: 
Phellodendron amurense
All Common Names: 
Amur corktree, Amur cork tree
Family (English): 
Rue
Family (Botanic): 
Rutaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks
Landscape Uses: 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
Mature Height: 
30-45 feet
Mature Width: 
30-60 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3, 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Prefers
Salt Spray: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Aggressive, 
  • Messy fruit/plant parts
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter, 
  • Mid winter, 
  • Late winter
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Open, 
  • Round
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Fairly easy to transplant due to a shallow root system. 
Separate male and female trees.  Select male cultivars to avoid fruit production.

Disease, pests, and problems

No serious problems.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to China and Japan.

Bark color and texture
Amur Corktree (Phellodendron amurense)Amur Corktree barkphoto: John Hagstrom

On older trees, the bark becomes deeply ridged and furrowed.  It is very distinctive and attractive.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite, compound leaves with 5 to 11 leaflets.  Margins entire.
Dark green in summer, changing to a clear yellow in autumn.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Male and female flowers on separate trees.  Not ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit develops only on female trees.  They are small, black, berry-like drupes.  They have a strong odor when crushed.

Cultivars and their differences 

His Majesty(Phellodendron amurense 'His Majesty'):  This cultivar is considered to be generally fruitless.  Habit is more vase-shaped.  Considered a hybrid of P. amurense and P.  sachalinense.

Macho (Phellodendron amurense 'Macho'):  Male (fruitless) cultivar.  Dark green leaves with a leathery texture.

Shademaster® (Phellodendron amurense 'RNI 4551'):  Male (fruitless) cultivar.  Spreading habit.

Superfection(Phellodendron amurense 'Supzam'):  Male (fruitless) cultivar.  Habit is pyramidal.

Phellodendron amurense or Amur corktree (male only)