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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):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

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


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Road salt

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

Seasons of Interest:

  • early winter,
  • midwinter,
  • 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 bark
photo: 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.

Location of Phellodendron amurense (Amur corktree (male only)) at the Arboretum