Norway Maple

Acer platanoidesNorway Maple
Maple Family (Aceraceae)
Broadleaf Decidous Tree
Flowers: Apr-May
Fruits: Jun-Oct
Native Range: Eurasia

Introduction: 1756 to Philadelphia by the botanist John Bartram. Extensively planted as a street tree, perhaps the most common street tree in the country. Planted heavily in the mid – 1900s in response to mortality of elms from Dutch Elm Disease.

Norway Maple StemMid- Atlantic Range & Habitats: Widespread throughout the region on city streets, in suburban yards, and naturalized in forests, particularly in urban and suburban areas.

Ecological Impacts:
Norway Maple is tolerant of a wide range of light and soil conditions, and seedlings can invade and persist within the interior of intact forest. The species is capable of outcompeting native maples in invaded forests. Mature trees cast deep shade, reducing light availability to forest understory plants. In addition, the tree can cause dramatic changes in nutrient availability that can alter the surrounding plant community structure.

Norway Maple Leaf Close Up

Quick ID:

  • Leaf veins: 5 – 7 major veins ( greater than 3.5 cm long) radiating from the base of the leaf blade
  • Leaf sap: Milky sap where leaf petiole is detached from stem ( Squeeze petiole to make sap more evident, though sap can be difficult to observe late in the season)
  • Leaf teeth: Teeth on leaves very sharp pointed, hair-like at the tip.
  • Fruit (samara): Wings of samara widely spreading to nearly 180 degree, width 3.5 – 4.5 cm

Norway Maple Seed

More ID Tips:

When mature, Norway Maple has a gray-brown bark with shallow intertwining furrows or grooves, whereas the bark of Sugar Maple is gray and slightly shaggy or plated. The dark green leaves of Norway Maple are large and wider ( 15 cm ) than they are long. Sugar Maple leaves tend to be smaller with a pale underside that becomes more evident when rubbed. Norway Maple TrunkNorway Maple leaves typically have 5-7 lobes and Sugar Maple has 3-5. Both species have greenish-yellow flowers in stalked clusters, but the flowering clusters of Norway Maple are erect and those of Sugar Maple are drooping.

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