European Maple, Norway Maple
Acer platanoides 'Crimson King'

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




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:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:

4.5 or below (very acidic)

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Amesti, California

Yosemite Lakes, California

Rockford, Illinois

Oskaloosa, Iowa

Sterling, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Two Harbors, Minnesota

Marshfield, Missouri

Exeter, New Hampshire

Haddonfield, New Jersey

Buffalo, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Garrettsville, Ohio

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Arlington, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

A cultivar of the common urban weed tree. The leaf color is funereal.

This tree becomes a pest through self-sowing. (The leaf color isn't inherited.) The thirsty roots make it hard to grow other plants around it.

Planting is prohibited in Massachusetts and Connecticut. This tree invades and impoverishes natural habitat in eastern North America and the Pacific Northwest.


On Aug 30, 2012, Mike_W from Sterling, MA wrote:

I have a crimson king, known by my family simply as "the crimson maple" growing in my front yard. It is a very large tree, at least 50 feet tall and has been growing since my father was a child. I've always liked the tree. It looks beautiful with it's red-purple leaves against the red color of my house. Quite the symmetrical tree as well with a wonderful, full shape. I have not had any problems with the tree being invasive. While it does produce the typical winged seeds, they rarely every sprout in the lawn.


On Oct 1, 2009, encartaphile from Marshfield, MO wrote:

This species may be considered an invasive in many places, but here in Missouri I can vouch that I almost never see a treeling come up under the norway maple in my yard (which was planted by us), despite its prolific seeding. There is also a silver maple in the yard, and every summer thousands of baby silver maples spring up like grass, but I have only maybe seen two or three of the norway maple seeds do anything in this soil.


On May 17, 2008, Jsorens from Buffalo, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

My town government continues to plant this everywhere, which I do not understand. It's invasive in New York, and frankly this cultivar is just hideously ugly, in my opinion. The last thing I want to see coming out of a long, cold Buffalo winter is long rows of dark, dark red trees down each side of the street. Please, my fellow Buffalonians, no more Crimson Kings!!


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

One of my prize maples, it is strikingly beautiful as it leafs out in Spring and provides welcome shade relief for conversations with neighbors. It was already here and mature when I moved in ten years ago, and has been a stable and placid fixture at the very front of the property. No problems at all, and would never want to lose it. No problem growing hostas, St John's wort and vinca underneath, except that mature trees leave little room between the roots (so plant youngest specimens). The roots are mostly underground with just two bumps visible. Although the area is mostly acidic, it sits next to a concrete sidewalk and a street corner without a problem.


On Aug 27, 2007, fob from Pickerington, OH wrote:

Very nice color; shows well in the spring and early summer. However, late summer (Zone 6), it gets infected with insects which eat 1/3rd the leaves (bugs wrap in a cacoon about 1-1/2 inches longs and triangular shape; brown color). I used Bayer Tree and Shrub insecticide after observing infestation this year. Hopefully this will solve the problem. Grows slowly.


On Jul 4, 2006, bed24 from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This tree is reported to be invasive and also "over-used" in the nursery trade. However, having grown several of these for the better part of two decades it does't seem invasive at all. If it is overly utilized, I can understand: the crimson color is beautiful and a great contrast against light greens and yellows in the landscape.


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

Seem to be low seed production, as seedlings are rare. Also slower growth rate compare to its green leaf cousin.


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

Norway maples do not mature well in the midwest. Nearly every mature city Norway 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.