TREES & plants

Norway maple (Not recommended)

Summer foliage of Norway maple.

Norway maples have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. While these trees have demonstrated invasive traits, there is insufficient supporting research to declare them so pervasive that they cannot be recommended for any planting sites. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting these trees for planting sites. Norway maple is known for its tolerance of urban conditions, but it often becomes a weedy plant through self-seeding.

Botanical name: 
Acer platanoides
All Common Names: 
Norway maple
Family (English): 
Soapberry (formerly Maple)
Family (Botanic): 
Sapindaceae (formerly Aceraceae)
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Mature Height: 
40-50 feet
Mature Width: 
35-50 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Aggressive, 
  • Commonly planted
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Fall color
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Yellow
Shape or Form: 
  • Round
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Insect pollinators
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Avoid pruning in early spring as maples are 'bleeders' and will lose large amounts of sap.
Adapted to a wide range of soils and environments.  Tolerates pollution well.

Disease, pests, and problems

This maple is prone to girdling roots.  Norway maple tends to self sow and become weedy.
Verticillium wilt (fungus) is a potential serious problem.  Anthracnose is a common leaf disease.
Tar spot is becoming very common on this species.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Europe.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is gray and fairly tightly ridged and furrowed.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves in pairs (opposite); 3 to 6 inches long.  Leaves are slightly broader than those of sugar maple.
The 5 lobed leaves are dark green in summer.  Fall color is not reliable.  It can range form yellow-green to a nice yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small, pale yellow flowers in upright, rounded clusters.
Inconspicuous by themselves, but very showy when the whole tree is in flower.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras);  each wing is 1-2 inches long and the two wings are spread at a wide angle.
Green, maturing to brown.



Acer platanoides or Norway maple (Not recommended)