Acer platanoides (Norway Maple)

Michael's Opinion

A tree that has some redeeming qualities such as bloom and shape but these are few when considering its negatives. Its main flaw is that it produces vast quantities of seed which all appear viable and are destined to reach maturity. It has become problematic in suppressing native species such as A. saccharum since it has the seed mass and is one of the first Acer species to leaf out in the spring and one of the last to loose its leaves in the autumn; giving it a great photosynthetic biomass advantage over the natives. Often in natural areas close or in urban centres the tree that most believe to be our native sugar maple is in fact the Norway maple. I am of the opinion that this tree should be considered an invasive species and should not be included on governmental recommended planting lists.

Botanical Information

FamilySapindaceae (Aceraceae)
TypeTree (deciduous)


USDA Hardiness Zone4 - 7
USDA Hardiness Ref.
Canadian Hardiness Zone2a - 6b
Canada Hardiness Ref.
RHS Hardiness ZoneH6 - H7
RHS Hardiness Ref.
Temperature (°C)-34 - (-15)
Temperature (°F)-30 - 5
Height30 m
Spread15 m
Flowering PeriodApril

Description and Growing Information

General DescriptionA very popular tree, available in a wide variety of cultivars. A. platanoides is a very adaptable species and is well suited to intense urban conditions.
ID CharacteristicWhen snapping the petiole, the stem exudes a white latex sap.
ShapeLarge rounded crown.
PropagationSeed, at 4C for four months, germinates easily. Softwood cuttings in June.
CultivationEasy to grow in a variety of soil conditions.
PestsMaple tar spot which is temporally disfiguring to the leaves but has little affect on plant vigour. Verticillium wilt, although often not fatal unless a tree is in poor vigour: pity.
Notable SpecimensIt can be a majestic specimen, I admit: The University of Western Ontario and Rayner Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada have some large specimens on the grounds. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.
HabitatWoods of Eastern Europe.
Bark DescriptionDull, deep grey with regular, shallow fissures.
Bud DescriptionLarge rounded, pronounced buds, dark chestnut in colour.
Leaf DescriptionBroadly palmate, with three distinct lobes. Leaves to 10 cm across.
Flower DescriptionOne of the most floriferous of the Acer species. In fact I will begrudgingly admit that when in full flower in early spring it is quite attractive. Large clusters of yellow, lime green flowers cover the entire tree. Very attractive to bees.
Fruit DescriptionClusters of keys, light beige in colour, to 4 cm across and produced in copious quantities.
Colour DescriptionPale yellow in the autumn.
Texture DescriptionMedium textured tree.