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Amur corktree

Quick facts

Amur corktree is an invasive species. 

  • Amur corktree prefers rich soils and full sun.
  • Only female plants produce seeds that can spread Amur corktree in a native ecosystem.
  • Amur corktree is not yet on any Minnesota invasive species list. It is listed in several other states and is one to look out for. 

How to identify amur corktree

  • Amur corktree (Phellodendron amurense) is a deciduous small tree, 35–45 feet tall with spreading branches.


  • Distinctive thick, cork-like bark.
  • Cutting into the bark reveals bright yellow inner bark.


  • Opposite


  • Opposite, compound leaves that are 10 to 15 inches long with 5 to 13 elliptical leaflets that are each 2-1/2 to 4-1/2 inches long.
  • Leaves can smell like turpentine when crushed.
  • Leaves turn yellow in fall.


  • Male and female flowers occur on separate plants.
  • Flowers in late spring, with bunches of small, upright, green flower clusters.

Fruit and seeds

  • Abundant fleshy skinned fruit with a large central seed, bright green until black at maturity, 1/4–1/2 inch across.
  • Strongly scented seeds remain on trees into late fall and winter.


Amur corktree bark is thick and cork-like
Amur corktree leaves

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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