Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 120 days, cold stratify for 120 days
Germination: sow seed 3/8" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Introducing Acer mandshuricum Manchurian Maple – a stunning species of maple that is native to China, Korea, and Russia. This slender deciduous tree typically reaches a height of up to 30 meters tall, but it is more commonly found in smaller sizes. Acer mandshuricum, also known as Manchurian Maple, belongs to the trifoliate maple family, similar to other species such as the Three-flower Maple and Paperbark Maple. However, it differentiates itself with its smooth, gray bark in contrast to the peeling bark of its relatives.
One of the standout features of this maple species is its foliage. The leaves have a 7-10 cm petiole and are composed of three leaflets. The leaflets are short-stalked, oblong in shape, and measure between 5-10 cm long and 1.5-3 cm broad. Their serrated margins add an attractive detail to the overall appearance. In early spring, the leaves emerge in a deep green color and continue to develop throughout the growing season. The red petioles provide a striking contrast against the green foliage.
During its flowering period, Acer mandshuricum produces yellowish-green flowers in corymbs of three to five together. These flowers add a touch of elegance to the tree's overall aesthetic. As the seasons change, the Manchurian Maple showcases its fall colors with a stunning display of pink and orange tones.
Cultivating Acer mandshuricum can be a rewarding experience, particularly for those with smaller gardens. With its narrow habit, this tree is suitable for confined spaces, making it a fantastic addition to any landscape. Additionally, its adaptability to full sun and partial shade and its preference for moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral soil conditions make it a versatile choice for various environments.
Although mainly seen in arboreta, mature examples of Acer mandshuricum can be found at prominent locations such as the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts, where a 70-year-old specimen stands tall at approximately 13 meters in height and 8 meters in width. In Canada, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario proudly display three Manchurian Maples, each reaching a height of 10 meters.
To summarize, Acer mandshuricum, or Manchurian Maple, is a remarkable maple species originating from China, Korea, and Russia. Its slender, deciduous form and unique smooth gray bark make it an eye-catching addition to any landscape. With its attractive foliage, stunning fall colors, and adaptability to various conditions, the Manchurian Maple truly stands out among other maple species. Consider planting this magnificent tree to bring a touch of beauty and elegance to your garden or outdoor space.