The Amur Corktree (Phellodendron amurense) from the Rutaceae family, native to Japan, Northern China, and Korea, can be found here on the University of Maryland campus as one of the Champion Trees. It is most often used and found in open areas such as parks due to the tree’s structure. The Amur Corktree can reach a height of 30’ to 45’ and is known to have its branches hanging down toward the ground, which provides more reasoning for why it is most often seen in large open areas.
The soil conditions that the Amur Corktree can best grow in are usually fertile with some moisture and sunlight to help it drain. The bark, being one of the fascinating and noticeable attributes of the Amur Corktree, has different qualities in both the inside and outside layers. The inside of the Amur Corktree has a yellow color, and the outside is known to have a sponge like texture. As the bark ages, the color turns a mixture of gray and brown consisting of distinct and unique patterns.
As well as its fascinating bark characteristics, another interesting aspect of the Amur Corktree is that it is defined as being dioecious, which means it consists of both male and female trees with varying characteristics between the two. The male and female trees have the capability to grow flowers, and the females can then grow fruits and seeds. Not only does the Amur Corktree have distinctive qualities that make it stand out, but it is also an easy tree to take care of. It can withstand many environmental conditions, is easily managed with little attention needed, and has very little pest issues associated with it.
Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. 6th ed., rev. ed., Stipes Pub, 2009
Missouri Botanical Garden: Phellodendron amurense. Retrieved March 01, 2018, from http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a889
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense). Retrieved March 01, 2018, from http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/fact/AmurCorkTree.html
Written by Cameron Smith