Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: European Maple, Norway Maple
Acer platanoides

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: platanoides (pla-tan-OY-dees) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By Evert
Thumbnail #1 of Acer platanoides by Evert

By Evert
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There are a total of 17 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
9 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

It's illegal to plant this species where I garden, but I still have to pull thousands of its seedlings out of the beds every year. In the city it springs up along property lines and makes growing lawns impossible. Its thirsty roots outcompete anything that tries to grow in its shade.

In eastern Massachusetts, frost usually hits the foliage before it can turn its wan yellow.

Neutral Rickwebb On Jan 24, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is usually a good qualtiy tree, one of the hard maples, that tolerates urban conditions very well of pollution, salt, limited root space, and heavy clay soil. It grows a little faster than the similar looking Sugar Maple, but it is not as good, just tougher for conditions. Unfortunately, it escaped cultivation long ago and is infesting the woods in many places in the Midwest and East and often acting like a weed tree in neighborhoods seeding everywhere. So, I would say is that let's keep it as a really urban tree for the big cities, but don't plant it in the countryside. Exterminate it from the woods.

Negative carrielamont On Jan 21, 2013, carrielamont from Milton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Ugh. Norway maples have a 250% germination rate in New England. When we moved into our house, there were two tiny trees in the back yard which had carefully been mowed around. By the time we opened our eyes (and joined this site), one was an unnamed Euonymous the size and shape of a huge meatball and the other was a gigantic Norway maple. If I had known what monsters those two would become, I would have yanked them both while it was still possible. The Town has finally cut down the one on the street in front of our house, but not before there a million little trees everywhere.

Negative karate626 On Sep 18, 2010, karate626 from Laurel, MD wrote:

This tree is very invasive in the US. I will encourage others to plant other native trees like Sugar Maples. This tree is ruining my woodland!

Negative eclayne On Feb 18, 2010, eclayne from East Longmeadow, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Noxious Weed Information:
Acer platanoides L.

This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state.

Norway maple Invasive, not banned
Norway maple Prohibited

Negative cloverlymd On Jul 16, 2009, cloverlymd from Silver Spring, MD wrote:

The Norway maple throws seedlings like mad, tends to shade everything out, has rather dull fall color, and tends to die back erratically. It's also quite slow growing. It's also a rather dull green.

Negative claypa On May 10, 2009, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is one of the most common weed trees in the eastern U.S.

Positive nlafrance3 On Oct 6, 2008, nlafrance3 from Edmonton, AB (Zone 4a) wrote:

Sparse population of Norway Maple exist in Edmonton, Ab but they do well when given adequate water. Do not like naturally arid conditions without the extra water. They grow smaller than in areas such as Toronto or Vancouver because of the shorter grower season. Hardy to zone 3a.

Positive warrendavisx On May 14, 2008, warrendavisx from Haddonfield, NJ wrote:

One of my favorite trees (among the various oaks, maples, hollies, cherries, dogwoods, spruce, pine, willows and cedar on my property). It began as a sapling, which I transplanted after three years to replace a dying oak. After eight years it is just over two stories high and provides outstanding shade from the mid- and late-afternoon sun. Because of its lush foliage, it is one of the most anticipated for leafing out in Spring (along with the beautiful Crimson maple, cherry and dogwoods), and it maintains its lush appearance throughout the hot humid summer. One of the best for withstanding strong storms, it is situated at the least protected spot on my property. I have no problem at all underplanting with garden sage within the drip line, and various from roses to lilacs just beyond the drip line on the sunny side, lawn grass on the shady side. I have trimmed the very lowest branches so that the trunk is bare up to about 4-5 ft, and this has kept the undergrowth happy. The Fall leaf color is bright yellow, and after fallen are easily mulched and added to the compost. The seeds are favorites of the squirrels and are not really a problem. An occasional seedling is pulled, but I seem to see as many wild cherry and elm as maple, neither of which I have grown, from seeds deposited by birds. Speaking of the birds, they seem to enjoy the privacy provided by the tree as much as I do. My neighbors have also planted them conspicuously because of their appreciation of mine.

Negative Malus2006 On Mar 22, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I wish I hadn't plant it in two locations in my yard many years ago. Beside evergreen, it is the hardest tree for planting plants under. Often those plants seem to become dwarfish due to the heavy shade produce by the large leaves. Like with evergreen, I figure the trees are thirsty and suck up any moisture you try to hose on the plants underneath while rains are deflected to either the trunk or outside the tree, even evaporated away from the leaves before reaching the ground. They also look ugly when winter hit earlier than normal, with dry green leaves that is held for a month. It's amazing how much punishment they took in our zone 4 climate but still are able to reproduce theirselves! It make you shiver at the thought at what zone 5 or warmer climate trees are like! They also have shade tolerance, not as much as silver maples. The only other plant that are constantly tormented by our winters but still thrives are buckthorns as they held on to their leaves through December but loses nutrients and other stuff from their leaves before they can absorbs them back in the plant.
I forgot to add that they also seed themselves like crazy! Early Summer 2006 there were a blizzard of seeds from the tree and it still have lots of seeds (thank god most of the seeds is infertile this year) at the time of typing in mid October

Negative PerryPost On Mar 28, 2005, PerryPost from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Norway maples do not mature well in the midwest. Nearly every mature midwest city tree has a twisted trunk with a visible split twisting from root to crown. Does not age gracefully.

Was popular for its pollution tolerance in urban settings, but is being phased out from the list of elligible species for planting in many cities.

Reseeds like crazy and may have been listed as invasive in some east coast areas. Definately wreaking havoc in New England's Sugar Maple forests.

Please reconsider before planting this European species near naturalized, native, rural, or protected areas.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 9, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful fall foliage. Grows well in zones 4-7 and does well within city limits. This tree is very popular because it is densely branched and has a nice form.

Negative karlas On Apr 5, 2003, karlas wrote:

The Norway Maple is a horrible tree and no one should ever plant one. It is terribly invasive, and though it is planted in urban areas, it often spreads to natural areas where it decreases the biodiversity of the forest or woodlot and prevents the natural regeneration of native vegetation.

Positive cmlnmbs On Jan 2, 2003, cmlnmbs from Ashland, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

This tree is commonly planted along city streets due to its ability to tolerate pollution and urban conditions.

It has an excellent round shape, and the leaves usually have a purple-red tint to them through the growing season before turning clear yellow in the fall.

Positive Evert On Oct 19, 2002, Evert from Helsinki
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Big leaved maple species. Very common in Fennoscandia and northern Europe. Leaves have beautiful fall colors, they appear in yellow, red, light-purple, and brown, depending on the weather and growing place. Fast growing.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Clermont, Kentucky
Frankfort, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Paris, Kentucky
Versailles, Kentucky
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Milton, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
South Saint Paul, Minnesota
Haddonfield, New Jersey
Jamestown, Ohio
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
Smokerun, Pennsylvania
Orem, Utah
Elmwood, Wisconsin

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