Acer ginnala is a small tree that grows 15-20 ft. (4.5-6 m) in height. The bark of the tree is smooth and gray.
The leaves are opposite and 1-3 in. (2.5-7.5 cm) long. They are 3-lobed, with the terminal lobe elongated. The margins of the leaves are doubly serrate. This plant leafs out early in the spring. The fall color of the leaves is usually red, but some are bright yellow.
The yellow-white flowers appear from May-June, after the tree has leafed out, and are borne in long-peduncled panicles. These flowers, unlike those of most maples, are fragrant.
The reddish fruit, which hang on the tree until late fall, have nearly parallel wings and are 0.75-1 in. (2-2.5 cm) long. The seeds of Acer ginnala are dispersed primarily by wind with the help of winged samaras.
Amur maple can displace native shrubs and understory trees in open woods, and shades out native grasses and herbaceous plants in more open habitats. This plant has been widely planted for its hardiness and tolerates a wide range of hardiness zones (zones three through eight).
Central and northern China, Manchuria, and Japan. Introduced in the 1860s.
Forests, forest edges, open disturbed areas, roadsides, ornamental plantings
Fall leaf color is a brilliant red. Fragrant flowers appear in loose clusters in May and June. Fruit are numerous reddish, two-winged, inch long samaras that mature in late summer and persist on the tree until late fall.
How You Can Help
Mountain maple (Acer spicatum), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), pagoda dogwood (Swida alternifolia)