Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Description:

Appearance: Large deciduous tree, dense canopy, 60' high when mature. Similar to native sugar maple except: broken leaf emits milky sap, upright green flower clusters, widely spreading winged fruit, regularly grooved bark, fall color always yellow.

Leaves: Opposite, five lobed, coarsely toothed, pointed.

Flowers: Flat-topped upright cluster, yellowish green, appearing with the leaves, blooming in May.

Fruit: Widely spreading winged fruit, ripens in autumn.

Ecological Threat:

  • It invades native woodlands by out-competing sugar maple as it is also very shade tolerant. Wildflower diversity is reduced beneath because it forms a more dense canopy.
  • Although sold primarily as a boulevard tree it spreads by seeds into disturbed forest communities.
  • It is native to Europe and Asia and widely sold in nurseries in the U.S.
  • Norway maple is MDA Specially Regulated Plant in Minnesota. Sellers must affix a label that advises buyers to only plant Norway maple and its cultivars in landscapes where the seedlings will be controlled by mowing and other means. Norway maple should be planted at least 100 yards from natural areas.

 

Control Methods:

Mechanical

  • Pulling seedlings when soil is moist

Chemical

  • Cut-stump treatment with glyphosate; cut-stump or basal bark spray treatment around the stem with triclopyr

 

Native Substitutes:

Additional Resources