Amur Maples are small, shrub-like maples planted primarily as wind breaks or landscape trees. Leaves are simple and opposite with three sharp, finely-toothed lobes. The central lobe is significantly longer than the outer two. In Minnesota, flowers emerge in May or June and are small, cream-colored, and fragrant. The flowers develop into fruits, or winged samaras that turn bright red in the fall. Samaras sometimes remain on the tree in long chains throughout the winter months, providing winter interest.
Amur maples were introduced to Minnesota sometime between 1900 and 1930 and became very popular due their cold hardiness and easy growth. More recently, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resouces classified Amur maples as invasive. One tree can produce thousands of samaras that are wind-dispersed and can aggresively displace native species. The DNR recommends removing the trees when possible, and suggests planting native maple species instead. The common name comes from the Amur river in China and Russia, where this species is native.
Amur maples, as with all maples, can be infected with Verticillium wilt. The species does not have many insects pests associated with it.