Amur maple

Acer ginnala

Images of this species:

Common look-alikes:



Acer ginnala is a small tree that grows 15-20 feet in height. The bark of the tree is smooth and gray.


The leaves are opposite and 1-3 inches 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 inches long. The seeds of Acer ginnala are dispersed primarily by wind with the help of winged samaras.


Ecological Threat

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.

Life Cycle

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.

Management Options

This species is Quarantined: Class B Noxious Weed

Mechanical Management

Prescribed fire will set back Amur maple, but not eliminate it. Small infestations can be controlled by grubbing out individual plants.

Chemical Management

These trees can be controlled using a cut-stump treatment with glyphosate herbicide or the cut-stump or basal bark treatment around the trunk with triclopyr herbicide.

  • Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work.
  • Always read and follow pesticide label directions. Application of pesticides may require a certification from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The Agency website provides information on what applicator certification is needed.

How You Can Help

Native/non-invasive alternatives

Mountain maple (Acer spicatum), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), pagoda dogwood (Swida alternifolia)

Native Perennials and Shrubs for Vermont Gardens​​

Choose native plants

Alternatives to Common Invasive Plants and Characteristics of Select Alternatives


Photo Credit

0008369, Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

5428390, Karan A. Rawlins,

5446393, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Rob Routledge, Sault College,

Information Credit

Amur maple, Pennsylvania DCNR

Video: Trees with Don Leopold - Amur maple