Norway Maple – Acer platanoides

Tree of the Week

16th September 2019 | Info

Common Name: Norway Maple

Scientific name: Acer platanoides

Introduction: The Norway Maple is a deciduous, non-UK Native tree that is native to Northern Europe. They are often grown as street or ornamental trees and can reach heights up to 25m.


Leaves: Dark-green compound (palmate) leaves with five lobes that have little pointed teeth. In the autumn, these fade to a rich yellow and sometimes red before dropping. The leaf petiole is long and when broken releases a milky substance.

Buds: Individual buds are green and red.

Bark: Grey with fine ridges.

Form: Norway Maple trees form a dense canopy and can grow to be 25m tall.


The Norway Maple flowers are in corymbs which means they grow in clusters and are a yellow to yellow-green colour.  These female flowers get pollinated by insects and turn into samaras. These samaras form a flat to a slightly convex head and drop in autumn and are then distributed by the wind.

Growth Habit:

Medium to large-sized trees. Shoots are originally green but develop into a pale-grown colour.

Interesting Facts:

Norway Maples were introduced to the UK in the 17th century. They were also introduced to North America in the 20th century, but due to the trees coping well with pollution and shade, they have often been found ‘outdo’ the North American native sweet maple and have gained the reputation of being an ‘invasive’ species.

Ecological Importance:

The flowers of a Norway Maple provide valuable sources of nectar and pollen to bees, and other insects and some moth species’ caterpillars feed on its leaves.  Birds and small mammals also eat the seeds.

Properties of Norway Maple wood and its Uses:

Norway Maple wood is a pale-cream colour and is very strong. Despite this, Norway Maple wood is not grown commercially (due to bark stripping). However, it has been found to be used in furniture and turnery.

Associated Pests and Diseases:

The Norway Maple, unfortunately, falls subject to many fungal diseases including verticillium wilt and honey fungus. It is also prone to bark stripping from squirrels, horse chestnut scale insects, horse chestnut leaf miners.

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