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TREES & plants

Amur maple (Not recommended)

Amur maple has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites. One tree can produce more than 5,000 two-winged seeds that are widely spread by wind. In open woods, Amur maple displaces native shrubs and understory trees. In prairies and open fields, it can shade out native species of plants, disrupting the ecosystems that plants and animals depend on.

Botanical name: 
Acer ginnala
All Common Names: 
Amur maple
Family (English): 
Soapberry (formerly Maple)
Family (Botanic): 
Sapindaceae (formerly Aceraceae)
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Tree
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Size Range: 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet)
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Mature Height: 
15-18 feet
Mature Width: 
15-18 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Commonly planted
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Fall color
  • Fragrant flowers
  • Showy fruit
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early spring
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Round
  • Spreading
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
Wildlife: 
  • Insect pollinators
More Information: 

Disease, pests, and problems

This tree is becoming a problem in the Midwest where it displaces native shrubs and understory trees. It is not recommended for planting.

One tree can produce more than 5,000 two-winged seeds that are widely spread by wind. In open woods, it displaces native shrubs and understory trees. In prairies and open fields, it can shade out native species.  Verticillium wilt (fungus) is a potential problem for maples.

Bark color and texture

Gray brown, smooth on young branches;  slightly striped or fissured with age.

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)Amur maple (Acer ginnala)photo: John Hagstrom

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves in pairs (opposite); 2 to 4 inches long.
Dark green leaves with three lobes and a toothed edge.
Fall color is orange, red and yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Creamy white, fragrant flowers in small clusters.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras).