Amur cork tree compound leaf, with the corky bark in the background. Photo Credit: Missouri Botanical Garden.
Amur Cork Tree
COMMON NAME:Amur Cork Tree
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Phellodendron amurense
ORIGIN:China and Japan
DESCRIPTION:Amur cork tree is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 feet tall. It has opposite, compound leaves that are divided into 5 to 11 lance-shaped leaflets and smell of citrus or disinfectant when crushed. This species is dioecious with female trees that produce clusters of small, green flowers in late spring that develop into drooping clusters of small, round, black fruit in mid-fall. Fruits remain on trees through the winter. Amur cork tree has corky, grey, furrowed outer bark and vibrant yellow inner bark.
HABITAT:Amur cork tree invades disturbed woodland habitats, forest edges, roadsides and urban areas. It can grow in full sun to densely shaded areas and is drought, flood and pollution tolerant.
THREAT:Amur cork tree stands create shaded areas that can prevent the establishment of native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. This species also releases allelopathic chemicals into the soil that harm native plant species and soil microorganisms. The fruit of amur cork tree is less nutritious than that of native species and may be detrimental to bird populations.
Management should prioritize the removal of female amur cork trees first to reduce seed production. Smaller seedlings and saplings can be hand-pulled or foliar treated with herbicide. Larger trees can be cut and treated with herbicides, basal bark treated or girdled. Trees will re-sprout if cutting is not followed up with herbicide treatment. Any successful management strategy will require a multi-year effort.
WNY PRISM PRIORITY:
Early Detection Priority Species
Tier 2 - Eradication
Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)
American beech (Fagus grandifolia)
NYS Prohibited and Regulated Species - Part 575:
Amur cork tree is a prohibited species in New York State – for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99141.html.
PATHWAYS OF INVASION:
Amur cork tree was originally introduced to the United States in the mid-1800s for use in landscape settings. Once introduced, female trees produce thousands of seeds that are then spread by birds.
Two known locations in Erie County.
MAP (via iMapInvasives):
To view more information for each point, zoom in, click on the point and select the "Maximize" symbol. Click "More info" to open the iMapInvasives record.
This map shows confirmed observations (green points) submitted to the NYS Invasive Species Database.
Absence of data does not necessarily mean absence of the species at that site, but that it has not been reported there.
For more information, please visit iMapInvasives.