Monday, October 18, 2010

That's Invasive? Amur Maple ~ Acer ginnala


Native to: Asia

Best Method of Removal: Cut and treat stumps with glyphosate

Interim Measures: Cut back after flowering to prevent seed formation

Native Alternatives: Alternate Leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), Serviceberries (Amelanchier species)

Cultivars Sold in the Nursery Trade: Red Fruit, Bailey Compact, Flame, Compactum and Durand Dwarf

This shrub/small tree is very common in our neighborhood where homeowners have planted it in their landscape. One of the reasons for its popularity is its bright red fall color. It is however invasive in several midwest and east coast States. In the Midwest, the Wisconsin and Minnesota DNR list it as invasive. Even so, it is still abundantly sold at local nurseries.

Several of these woody exotics are cropping up at my local park as illustrated in the second photo. They are taking advantage of more open or sparsely wooded spots near the restored prairie. Amur maple produces a lot of seeds (the characteristic maple seeds or samaras) that can 'helicopter' away a good distance from the parent plant. "It displaces native shrubs and understory trees in open woods, and shades out native grasses and herbaceous plants in savanna habitat". (Minnesota DNR)



Paul Wray, Iowa State University
The leaves are similar to a Silver Maple and sharply toothed. They emerge a dark glossy green with red petioles then turn bright yellow to red in late fall.

Amur Maple grows up to 20 feet in height when mature. It is usually multi-stemmed and has smooth light gray bark. It flowers in the spring, yellowish-white fragrant flowers that then develop into samaras.


Paul Wray, Iowa State University