Norway Maple - Acer platanoides L

Common name(s):  Norway maple
Scientific name:   Acer platanoides L.
Family:    Soapberry family (Sapindaceae)
Native range:  East central Europe to southwest Asia
Type: Deciduous
Non-native range:  widely planted as an urban tree in cities and parks
Average height range:  20-30 meters
Forest or habitat:  
Wood density and quality:  hard, good for furniture, color is pale-yellow to reddish.
Leaf shape:  palmate
Leaf arrangement:  Opposite
Leaf margin:  lobed, spiny (1-7 teeth-like points per lobe)
Leaf venation:  palmate
Leaf stem:  5-8 inches, 8-20 cm
Leaf surface:  glabrous (smooth, not hairy)
Inflorescence:  corymb like panicle
Flower: five sepals and five petals 3–4 mm, inconspicuous
Pollinating agents: ?
Fruit: double Samara pair
Edible?:  no
Seed description:  flattened disk-like with “wings” (samara)
Seed dispersal mechanism:  wind blown Samara
Bark:  gray-brown, grooved
Traditional uses:  ornamental, shade
Commercial uses:  furniture and wood-turning  (banister spindles etc.)
Invasiveness:  Moderate in some areas, (banned in New Hampshire and Massachusetts)
Threats: Asian long horned beetle,
Iconic or symbolic value:  Maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada and is represented on its flag.


  1. Just to clarify: The sugar maple (A. saccharum) is the national symbol. Norway Maple is incredibly aggressive in natural heritage systems and is considered a weed tree despite the fact that the landscape industry still planting this species.

  2. I will never understand why this tree was planted in New England. Sugar maples are native, iconic, and much better looking. Norway maples are banned in MA and NH, but I see youngish ones (15 years or so) planted in many parking lot gardens. I just don't understand the appeal. I'm no landscaper, so does anyone know why Norway maples are favored as ornamental trees over sugar maples??

  3. Norway Maples are more resistant to road salt and air pollution which Sugar Maples are very sensitive to.

  4. The bark in the photo looks remarkably similar to White Ash, Fraxinus americana.