Norway Maple Tree

Acer platanoides or Norway Maple trees are popular for their vibrant autumn foliage colours which range from deep purple to golden yellow. Norway Maples are a species of Acer that is native to central Europe and unlike other Maple trees, mature Norway Maples do not develop a shaggy bark.

Norway Maple trees are deciduous with broad, rounded crowns that create a dense canopy, making them ideal for screening purposes. The Norway maple tree produces corymbs of yellow-green flowers which appear in spring before the new leaves emerge. The fruit of Maple trees are called 'samara' with Acer Platanoides producing a double samara.

The name of this species is derived from the Latin for sharp (acer) in reference to the pointed leaves and its similarity to the species Platanus with ‘oides’ being Latin for ‘resembling’, culminating in Acer platanoides.

The difference between Acer platanoides and Acer saccharum

Sometimes confused with the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), there are a few tell-tale signs to distinguish between the two species. Firstly, Sugar Maple trees produce a clear sap whereas Norway Maples produce a white sap. Also, the seed of sugar maple trees are globular where Acer Platanoides' seeds are flat.

Interesting facts about Norway Maple trees

  • Acer platanoides trees yield a hard, yellowish white wood that is used for making furniture and for turnery.
  • This species of tree was introduced to North America from Europe by John Bartram in 1756.
  • During the 1950s and 1960s it became extremely popular and was planted by the thousands. This was due to the huge loss of American Elm trees which were effected by Dutch Elm Disease. To this day you can see many Acer Platanoides trees planted in Central Park.
  • Acer Platanoides is a popular street tree for avenue planting as it is tolerant of poor, compacted soils, drought and pollution.
  • Depending on the planting conditions, Acer Platanoides trees can live for anything from 60 to 250 years. 
  • The sap from Norway maple trees is not used for maple syrup as it is white in colour and low in sugar.


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