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Norway Maple Tree Facts

The Norway maple is an ornamental species of maple tree brought to the United States from its native Europe in the 1700's. The Norway maple is an invasive species in many parts of the country, as its seeds blow into woodlands and develop. The tree produces shallow roots and dense shade that keep native plants such as woodland wildflowers from growing beneath it. Norway maple is still a popular ornamental, with many cultivars for you to choose from when considering this species for your yard.


Plant a Norway maple in the open and it frequently will wind up being wider in its crown than it is tall. The typical Norway maple grows to between 40 and 60 feet, making it a medium-sized shade tree. The leaves are from 4 to 7 inches long and the fruit, called a samara on species such as maples, is 2 inches wide.


The dark green leaves of Norway maple have five lobes, but two of them are much smaller than the other three and exist near the base of the leaf. In this way, the leaves resemble those of a sycamore tree. The samaras of the Norway maple consist of two pods joined together that look like a pair of wings. They will helicopter down from the tree when the wind blows. Norway maples have a milky sap, unlike most other maples. Break off a leaf of twig and you will see it flow freely.

Growing Conditions

Buy a Norway maple seedling and transplant it to just about anywhere in your yard. Few species of tree take to transplanting as well as this one. Put your tree in the full sun if possible but if need be you can place it in the shade, where it will still grow. Norway maple will develop in many kinds of soil types. One of its greatest assets is that it can withstand the pollution of an urban setting, allowing city dwellers with the room to utilize this species.


Take into consideration that a Norway maple will create so much shade that nothing will have much of a chance to grow beneath it, including grass. Realize that the roots, which are shallow, can invade sidewalks and cause damage. Remember that this species of maple is prone to a disease called verticillium wilt, which can blight its leaves. The tree also produces seeds, some of which will invariably sprout into seedlings around the tree, resulting in the need to pull them out by hand.


The crimson king cultivar of Norway maple is so popular with property owners that many people who have only seen this as an example of the species think all Norway maples have red leaves and not green ones. Crimson king’s foliage is its main feature and it changes to maroon as the growing season goes on. The drummondii cultivar has variegated white and green leaves, with the light green foliage possessing a white border around it. Emerald queen has yellow autumn color and grows only to about 50 feet. The dwarf variety known as globosum only grows to between 15 and 18 feet tall.

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