More 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.