Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: European Maple, Norway Maple
Acer platanoides 'Drummondii'

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

One vendor has this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

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)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #1 of Acer platanoides by Todd_Boland

By twunchy
Thumbnail #2 of Acer platanoides by twunchy

By daryl
Thumbnail #3 of Acer platanoides by daryl

By PinetopPlanter
Thumbnail #4 of Acer platanoides by PinetopPlanter

By Zanziguy
Thumbnail #5 of Acer platanoides by Zanziguy


3 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive scotian2731 On Jun 28, 2014, scotian2731 from coldbrook
Canada wrote:

I bought my current home three years ago. It has three of these maples in the front yard. Beautiful. A real eye catcher. They do have some limbs that the leaves go all green. Just have to keep an eye on the tree and trim them out. Trees are no problem.

Positive Zanziguy On Sep 5, 2010, Zanziguy from Peconic, NY wrote:

I was recently in Quebec City, Quebec and saw Drummondii Harlequin Maple over 30 feet tall that was extraordinary. It was growing on the street (north side). It did not seem likely that anyone was taking care of the tree, but it had no reverted branches or leaves. I wonder if the cold winters of Quebec contribute to its success.

I live on Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7) and wonder if I could grow it with the success. I read all the comments with concern. Despite some of the negative comments, it was such a beautiful tree and would love one in my garden, but cannot seem to find anyone that sells the tree.

Neutral landscapetech55 On Mar 31, 2010, landscapetech55 from Toronto
Canada wrote:

Norways are, yes, a huge problem in North America. The only pest that seems to have a liking for it is the Asian Long-Horned beetle (which will eat anything.) Smart landscapers and landscape designers will not plant Norway maples under any circumstances - however, the Harlequin can be considered the lesser of evils because of it's redeeming foliage, and because examples from QUALITY GROWERS do not produce seed. (Or, if they do produce seed, it is sterile.)

Species Norway Maples self-seed almost as badly as Acer negundo (Manitoba Maple), and create a HUGE mass of fallen leaves in Autumn. This is currently wreaking havoc on native woodland flower and moss species in North America.

I've treated quite a few customers' Harlequin problems -- most commonly, browning around the edges of the leaves. This type of browning can be caused by too little water. Oftentimes, however, the browning is caused by aphids.

Aphids can be safely controlled by a sharp blast of water from a nozzle or **EXTREMELY** careful use of a pressure-washer. For more extreme cases, mix a light solution of insecticidal soap into a "feeder-nozzle" and spray the foliage with this. It's important to spray the ENTIRE tree or the aphids will simply migrate back to treated areas.

Harlequin Maples will revert back to species when they're improperly maintained (as with ALL 'anomalous' foliage plants!) Proper maintenance of a strong central leader, good branch-trunk attachments, and elimination of competing leaders will ultimately produce a tree that is less likely to revert. A harlequin displaying more than 50% reverted foliage is a painfully obvious sign of neglect and ignorance. They are intended to be specimen trees - a testament to the skill, expertise, and patience of their caretakers - NOT low-maintenance, "plant-and-forget" trees.

Positive PinetopPlanter On Jul 30, 2009, PinetopPlanter from Auburn Four Corners, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I've had this tree for over 14 years in the yard. In that time is has proved to be a SLOW growing, well behaved tree with a very pretty leaf. My only beef with the tree is that it is slow growing: I had hoped to have a tree approaching full size for a Norway Maple, but our climate is harsh. The tree is planted in full sun, which, during our worst drought years, will cause some browning of the edges, but then again, other trees suffer in drought as well. I think the full sun locale may give our tree a much more defined variegation than the type pictured in some of the photos.

There are no seeds on this tree -- the tree is sterile, as another poster commented.

There are occasional all-green-leaved twigs, few and far between, which have been easy to remove. The effect of the variegated leaves has been worth the extra trouble to me, and the all green twigs are easy to spot, once a season, when I stop to admire this tree's beauty.

To my knowledge, there is no other cultivar of this type of maple, or its closest relations, that has this type of variegation.

As these cultivars can vary, I will state that I purchased my tree all those years ago from Jung Seed and Nursery Co.

Please see my photos of the beautiful edging on the leaves. I wouldn't hesitate to plant another one in my yard!

Neutral 1139mojave On Jul 9, 2007, 1139mojave from Richland, WA wrote:

We inherited a young silver variegated Norway maple which has been doing fine up until now and we consider a "pretty" tree, the leaves are unusual. But the leaves are turning brown from the edges to the stems - don't know why. Any thoughts?

Neutral smalone On Nov 4, 2006, smalone from Petaluma, CA wrote:

First negative comment may not refer to 'Drummondii', as 'Drummondii' is sterile and does not reseed as comment suggests

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

I am amazing that many nurseries continue to sell this tree. I rarely ever seen a 2/3 variegated middle age tree, let only a mature tree! Often the only thing left of the variegation is a few branches which contributes to the ugliness of the tree. Should not even be called a variety as the variegation is short living! All tags should report whenver the variegation is unstable or is stable!

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

The rare variegated form of Norway may be suitable for select urban locations. Tree must be maintained vigilantly or all-green branches will quickly overtake and drown out the variegated branches. In general...

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.


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

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania
Madison, Wisconsin

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