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Norway Maple Acer platanoides

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser pla-tan-OY-dees
Description

Norway maple is a deciduous shade tree in the Sapindaceae (soapberry) family native to northeastern Europe.   This large tree can reach a height and width of 50 feet so having a large enough area to accommodate it is important.

Prefers full sun to partial shade, a wide range of soils but must be well trained and maintain a medium moisture level. 

An easy growing excellent shade or street tree that tolerates heat, drought, urban conditions, and pollution.  It has a symmetrical, rounded crown and has been used widely as a tree in urban areas of the United States though it is not recommended for many areas now.  It freely reseeds itself, so be aware you may be pulling up seedlings.  

Cultivars may offer the best choice for landscaping. It is noted that this species should be given considerable room, as it covers large areas. Some cultivars of this plant have deep purple or maroon leaves. Shallow roots make it difficult to grow plants underneath.  It is easy to transplant.

Quick ID Hints:

  • opposite leaves
  • 5-lobed with sharp points
  • hairs in axils of veins
  • finely furrowed bark
  • milky sap when leaf stem is broken
  • angle of attachments of the 2 nutlets: a straight line

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.  Susceptible to verticillium wilt. Young tree bark may suffer from sun-scald or frost damage.  Its canopy is dense and it has shallow roots which make it very challenging to grown anything under the drip line of the tree.  It can be especially bothersome planted near sidewalks or walkways as it is messy and it self seeds easily becoming weedy in the landscape.

VIDEO created by Ryan Contreras for “Landscape Plant Materials I:  Deciduous Hardwoods and Conifers or Landscape Plant Materials II:  Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Crimson King', 'Crimson Sentry', 'Globosum', 'Stand Fast'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#large tree#moths#weedy#fall interest#air pollution tolerant#messy#nighttime garden#children's garden#playground plant#self-seeding#pollinator plant#larval host plant#urban conditions tolerant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#moth larvae#imperial moth#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Crimson King', 'Crimson Sentry', 'Globosum', 'Stand Fast'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#large tree#moths#weedy#fall interest#air pollution tolerant#messy#nighttime garden#children's garden#playground plant#self-seeding#pollinator plant#larval host plant#urban conditions tolerant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#moth larvae#imperial moth#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    platanoides
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northeastern Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the genus Acer support Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Pieces Used in Games
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    1.5"-2" long horizontally spreading wings mature September to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Not remarkable, appear in spring before the foliage. One of most floriferous maples.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    7" across, with 5 sharply pointed lobes that look similar to a sugar maple. Petioles exude milky sap when broken. Fall color is an unremarkable yellow.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Pollution
    Problems:
    Messy
    Weedy