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Phellodendron - Growing Guide
Growing Phellodendron amurense
Commonly known as ‘Amur Cork Tree’
Phellodendron grow in north East Asia and these trees are readily grown in the UK for their attractive foliage and picturesque habit. As a dioecious tree you need separate male and female plants to produce seeds. This is why we have planted two together at Caerhays although we still have yet to see any flowers and may well not end up with a matching pair!
Our trees which are about 20ft tall with a similar or larger drooping spread after 20 years are already exhibiting fine pale grey-brown striped cork-like bark which is becoming more ‘cork like’ each year. The leaves are pinnate and 10-15in long with five to eleven leaflets. They are a very glossy green on the topside and glaucous below. The overall effect is impressive.
The pair we grow are in full sun in a damp location. The reference books indicate that late frosts can threaten the new growth but we have not found this to be a problem or that they leaf up early in the year. It may well be our plants originate from Japan and are hardier than early introductions from Manchuria. Although there are few serious frost pockets at Caerhays these are certainly beside a stream in one.