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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


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Wet sites,
  • Occasional flooding,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

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

Seasons 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.



Location of Acer platanoides (Norway maple (Not recommended)) at the Arboretum