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Amur maple

(Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala)

Photo of Amur maple
Photo credit: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org

Multi-stemmed deciduous tree or shrub in the maple family.

Overview

Other names for this plant include:
  • Common names: Siberian maple, ginnala maple
  • Scientific names: Acer tataricum, Acer ginnala
Ecological threat:
  • Invades open grasslands, open forests, prairies, forest and field edges.
  • Outcompetes native shrubs and understory trees, reducing overall biodiversity.
  • Can shade-out native species in prairie ecosystems, converting prairie community to shaded shrubland or woodland.
  • United States Forest Service designates this species as invasive in several eastern states with similar climate zones.
  • Trees produce abundant, wind-dispersed seeds that germinate readily.
  • Trees are tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions, and more drought and shade tolerant than native maples.
  • May contain allelopathic chemicals, inhibiting root development of desired species.
Overview map of Amur maple classification in WI
Restricted (orange) counties

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted (all cultivars exempt)

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Amur maple was based upon this literature review [PUB] developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves & stems: Leaves and stems are opposite, with two leaves per stem node. Leaves are simple with three shallow lobes; bright green in color turning scarlet red in fall. The bark is grayish-brown and smooth when young, developing furrowed striations with age.

Flowers: Panicle flowers are fragrant and pale yellow-whitish in color.

Fruits & seeds: Red samara (helicopter) seeds (borne in pairs) have tight angled almost parallel wings. Samaras travel long distances in the wind and readily germinate.

Similar species: Amur maple can be distinguished by other maples by the narrow leaf shape with three shallow lobes.

Control

Mechanical:
  • Amur maple saplings are easily pulled by hand.
  • Larger trees can be cut, but do resprout.
  • Prescribed fire in prairies can be an effective means of control.
Chemical:
  • General herbicide treatments are effective.
  • Cut-stump treatment glyphosate and basal bark treatment or frilling with triclopyr are successful.

Photos

View Amur maple pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
  • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health; invasive.org
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • USDA Forest Service
Links for more information: