Norway Maple

Acer platanoides

Norway Maple

Family: Sapindaceae

Weed class: monitor list
Native to: parts of Asia and Europe

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

This plant is on the monitor list - it is not a listed noxious weed in Washington. Please contact its sponsor Elliott Church to report locations of plants growing outside of ornamental plantings.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Norway maples are tall deciduous trees, growing up to 40-60+ feet tall with broad crowns. Large maple-shaped leaves are opposite each other on the stem and deciduous. Small yellow flowers bloom in the early spring and form samaras, with wings nearly at a 180 degree angle. It and its cultivars have been widely planted as a landscape tree throughout the United States. Over time it has spread and become a notable invader in the eastern US.

Flower Description

Small yellow flowers occur in clusters (corymbs) that bloom in early spring before or as the leaves emerge.

Leaf description

Leaves are deciduous and arranged opposite each other on stems. Leaves are 4 to 7 inches (10-18 cm) wide and are dark green above and lighter green on their undersides. Leaves have 5 to 7 lobes with tips that taper to points. Petioles (leaf stems) have a milky sap when removed from stems. In autumn, leaves turn a yellow-green to yellow in color.

Stem description

Norway maple's bark is smooth on younger trees and ages to have ridges and furrows.

Fruit Seed Description

The dry fruit (samara) is of two sections, each with a seed that has a papery wing. The section with the seeds are connected at their bases and are hairless. The wings are in a wide angle from each other or sometimes almost horizontal.

May Be Confused With

Norway maple may be confused with sugar maple (Acer saccharum), see a comparison image here.

Where does it grow?

These trees are adapted to grow in a variety of light and soil conditions, including poor soils and hot, dry conditions.

How Does it Reproduce?

Norway maple spreads by seed. Seeds are wind dispersed.

For More Information

Norway maple information on Invasive.org

UW Herbarium image database information on Norway maple

Additional Photos