Norway Maple

Norway_Maple_jpgMore than 100 species of the maple family (Aceraceae) are known to exist around the world, and about 15 maples occur in North America.  The maples are often split into two groups based on the qualities of their wood.  These are called the “soft maples” and the “hard maples”.  Red Maple and sliver maple are soft maples.  Sugar maple is a hard maple.  The Norway Maple is a soft maple. The species, platanoides, means “like plane tree”. The Norway Maple is a common tree in urban areas, especially as a street tree.  More than 80 cultivars have been selected. The brilliant fall coloring adds to its ornamental value. Squirrels and chipmunks eat or store the seeds after removing the hull and the wing.  Birds use the leaves and seed stalks in nest building.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Acer platanoides

Community:

Thicket

PlantStatus:

Naturalized

LifeSpan:

Woody Tree

PlantHeight:

40 to 50 feet (occasionally to 90 feet)

FruitingTime:

May to August

Distribution:

Throughout the United States ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

April to May

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Many buds cluster in early spring before leaves, greenish to maroon-tinged ~ Flowers yellow or greenish yellow ~ Widely spreading crown ~ Leaves opposite, five sharp-pointed lobes and a few large teeth, turn from dark green in summer to yellow in the fall ~ Sap milky in petioles (leafstalk) ~ Bark gray to grayish black, smooth when young becoming lightly furrowed with tightly arranged, longitudinal ridges