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Overview

Brief Summary

Acer platanoides, Norway maple, is a medium to large deciduous tree native to northern and central Europe and western Asia (Barnes and Wagner 2004). Its many cultivars are widely planted in North America as a lawn, park, and street tree because they are hardy and cold resistant, tolerate pollution, soil compaction, and other urban conditions, and are relatively free of insect pests and diseases.

The leaves are opposite and palmately lobed with five coarsely toothed lobes; petioles are 8–20 cm long. The tree grows 20–30 m tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter. The yellow to yellow-green flowers, with 5 petals and 5 petal-like sepals, are each 3–4 mm long and occur in corymbs of 15–30 together. The flower clusters, which appear in early spring before leaves have emerged, are larger and more conspicuous than in many North American maples. The fruit, produced in large amounts, is generally a pair of widely diverging samaras (hard nutlets with winged seeds); clusters of three samaras sometimes occur. Maples were classified in their own family, Aceraceae, but are now generally included in Sapindaceae (Stevens 2001)—see Systematics.

In the past 20–30 years, Norway maple has naturalized widely in North America, particularly in urban woodlots and forest edges (Barnes and Wager 2004, Cincotta et al. 2008), and can become dominant in mesic (moist) soils where Acer saccharum (sugar maple) would otherwise grow. Norway maple is classified as invasive in 20 Northeastern U.S. states (USFS 2011) and eastern Canada; it is banned from sale or planting in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The species is, however, still available at nurseries in other states and continues to be widely planted.

Adverse ecological effects include inhibition of understory growth (including tree saplings) due to its densely shading canopy and its release of allelopathic (defensive) chemicals, so it tends to create bare, muddy run-off conditions immediately under the tree (Galbraith-Kent and Handel 2008; Swearingen et al. 2010). It suffers less herbivory and fewer fungal diseases than sugar maple, which may give it a competitive advantage over sugar maple (Cincotta et al. 2008).

A. platanoides is sometimes confused with A. saccharum (sugar maple) in North America, but they can be distinguished in most characters. Norway maple leaves are usually broader than they are long, while sugar maple leaves are generally longer than wide (or with length=width). Norway maple seeds are flattened and its samara’s wings are widely spread (to 180 degrees); sugar maple seeds are globose, with wings diverging at 45 to 90 degrees. Norway maple terminal buds are large, rounded, and blunt, with only 2–3 pairs of scales; sugar maple has long, sharply pointed buds with many scales. Bark of mature Norway maples has small, often criss-crossing grooves (reminiscent of Fraxinus americana, white ash), while sugar maple bark occurs in broader flat or shaggy plates. Norway maple autumn leaf color is usually yellow to yellow-orange, rather than the brilliant oranges and reds of sugar maple. Finally, Norway maple tends to leaf out earlier in the spring and hold its leaves later in the autumn than sugar maple.
  • Barnes, B.V., and H.W. Wagner. 2004. Michigan Trees: A Guide to the Trees of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Galbraith-Kent, S.L., and S.N. Handel. 2008. Invasive Acer platanoides inhibits native sapling growth in forest understorey communities. Journal of Ecology 96: 293–302.
  • Stevens, P.F. 2001 onwards. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since]. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/.
  • Swearingen, J., B. Slattery, K. Reshetiloff, and S. Zwicker. 2010. Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, 4th ed. National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Washington, DC. 168pp. Retrieved on September 15, 2011 from http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/acpl.htm
  • Wikipedia. 2011. "Acer platanoides." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Apr 2011, 10:47 UTC. 7 Jun 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Acer_platanoides&oldid=431200094.
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History in the United States

Norway maple was introduced for use as an ornamental landscape plant.

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Comprehensive Description

Description

This tree is 40-80' tall, forming a single trunk up to 2½' across and a globoid to ovoid crown. The trunk bark of mature trees consists of gray ridges that are separated by narrow brown furrows; sometimes the ridges are interlacing. Branch bark is more smooth and gray, while twigs are greenish brown to brown with scattered white lenticels. Pairs of opposite leaves occur along the twigs. Individual leaves are 3-6" long and 3½-7" wide; they are palmately lobed (usually 5 lobes). Each lobe is rather broad at the base, tapering gradually to a pointed tip; there are usually 1-2 large pointed teeth on either side of each lobe. The upper leaf surface is medium to dark green, while the lower surface is slightly more pale; both surfaces are hairless. The slender petioles are light green to pale yellow, terete, and glabrous; they are as long as, or slightly longer than, the adjoining leaf blades. Norway Maple can be monoecious or dioecious, producing male (staminate) flowers and female (pistillate) flowers on either the same or separate trees. Both types of flowers are produced in umbel-like clusters spanning 2-3" across; each cluster consists of 10-30 flowers. The slender stalks of each corymb are green and either hairless or glandular-hairy. Individual male and female flowers span about 8 mm. (a little less than 1/3") across; each flower has 5 sepals, 5 petals, and a circular central disk that are greenish yellow. Male flowers have 8 fertile stamens, while female flowers have a green pistil with a pair of styles and 8 sterile stamens. Each pistil has a pair of basal wings. The blooming period occurs during mid-spring shortly before, or at the same time as, the unfolding of the leaves. Fertile pistillate flowers are replaced by pairs of samaras (seeds with elongated wings) that are 1½-2" long. The samaras are joined together at the base, forming an angle that is a little less than 180°. Each pair of samaras dangles from a slender pedicel. The samaras become mature during the fall and turn brown; they are distributed by the wind. The woody root system is shallow and widely branching. The deciduous leaves usually turn yellow in the fall.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

More info for the terms: mesic, nonnative species, tree

Norway maple is native to continental Europe and western Asia. It was introduced to the United States in the mid- to late 1700s in eastern Pennsylvania [10,36]. A current, accurate description of Norway maple distribution in North America is problematic. It is widely planted throughout much of North America, especially along urban streets and in yards. In many areas it escapes into surrounding forest and woodlands, where it may become invasive (see Impacts). Precise distribution information for Norway maple is lacking.

Based on floras and other literature, herbarium samples, and confirmed observations, Norway maple can potentially be found in North America, growing outside cultivation, in the following areas: from New Brunswick and Cape Breton Island west to Minnesota and south to Tennessee and North Carolina. In the West, it is found in British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, and western Montana [8,18,24,34,45,48,52,54,57,63].

Actual distribution of escaped or invasive Norway maple may be more or less broad than the above description. The following description of potential distribution is based on a map developed by Nowak and Rowntree [36] that describes Norway maple performance when grown as an urban street tree. They describe "optimal range" as areas where Norway maple can be grown with few environmental constraints. Although not confirmed as such, these are areas where it is most likely to escape cultivation and potentially become invasive. The "optimal range" in eastern North America is from southern New England south to Chesapeake Bay, the piedmont of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina, and the Appalachians of western North Carolina, South Carolina, and northern Georgia. This distribution continues west through the northern 1/3 of Alabama and Mississippi and the northern 2/3rds of Arkansas to eastern Oklahoma, then north to southeastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Northern limits of this distribution are delineated by western and northern coastal areas of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. South of this delineation, inland areas of Maine, eastern Quebec, and the southern Maritimes, as well as northern Vermont/New Hampshire and the Adirondacks, are not included in this distribution [36].

The "optimal range" in western North America includes western sections of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, the North Coast and Sierra regions of California, and northern Idaho/northwestern Montana. Nowak and Rowntree [36] also describe much of the intermountain west and the rest of western and central Montana as "suboptimal range", where some irrigation is required for successful cultivation. Therefore, we might assume that riparian or other mesic habitat is susceptible to invasion in these areas, given a seed source[36].

There is some indication that Norway maple could be potentially invasive in Canada through climate zone 2b.This includes the Maritime provinces, most of Quebec and Ontario, the southern 2/3rds of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, and all but the coldest areas of British Columbia. However,  precise distribution data are lacking [43].

The following biogeographic classification systems demonstrate where Norway maple could potentially be found based on the above information. Predicting distribution of nonnative species is difficult due to gaps in understanding of their biological and ecological characteristics, and because they may still be expanding their range. These lists are speculative and may not be accurately restrictive or complete.

  • 18. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 8. Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 10. Chaney, William R. 1995. Acer platanoides: Norway maple. Arbor Age. 15(1): 22-23. [42442]
  • 36. Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A. 1990. History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture. 16(11): 291-296. [42704]
  • 43. Richer-Leclerc, Claude; Arnold, Neville; Rioux, Jacques-Andre. 1994. Growth evaluation of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) under different natural temperature regimes. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 12(4): 203-207. [42562]
  • 45. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 48. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 52. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 57. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 63. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 24. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]
  • 34. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 54. U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Resource Conservation Service. 2003. PLANTS database (2003), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Norway Maple has occasionally naturalized in NE Illinois and probably a few counties elsewhere (see Distribution Map). It was introduced into North America from Eurasia as a landscape tree. Habitats consist of areas along roads and vacant lots in urban areas. Even though it may have the potential to be invasive, this tree is often cultivated in such places as areas along streets, lawns, and city parks.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [7]:

1 Northern Pacific Border

2 Cascade Mountains

4 Sierra Mountains

5 Columbia Plateau

6 Upper Basin and Range

8 Northern Rocky Mountains

9 Middle Rocky Mountains

11 Southern Rocky Mountains
  • 7. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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Occurrence in North America

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Distribution and Habitat in the United States

John Bartram of Philadelphia first introduced Norway maple from England to the U.S. in 1756 and soon began offering it for sale. It was planted on farms and in towns for its shade, hardiness and adaptability to adverse conditions. Norway maple has been reported to be invasive throughout the northeastern U.S. from Maine to Wisconsin, south to Tennessee and Virginia and also in the Pacific Northwest. Over time, as reforestation occurred across the Northeast, Norway maple joined native tree species as a component of eastern forest ecosystems. It also escaped from town plantings.

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Origin

Europe and Western Asia

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Acer platanoides L.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: tree

Norway maple is a nonnative tree, usually 40 to 98 feet (12-30 m) in height, with widely spreading, ascending branches [10,18,29,52]. In Europe, Norway maple trees typically grow to a maximum diameter at breast height of 76 inches (190 cm) and live to 150 years [41]. Bark on older trees becomes furrowed [48,52]. Fruits of Norway maple are 2-winged samaras and each half of the fruit is typically 1.4 to 2.2 inches (3.5-5.5 cm) long [48,52,57].

The preceding description provides characteristics of Norway maple that may be relevant to fire ecology and is not meant to be used for identification. Keys for identifying Norway maple are available in various floras (e.g. [18,34,45,48,52,57,63]). Photos and descriptions of Norway maple are also available online at Plants Database, Michigan State University Extension, and Oregon State University websites.

The biology and ecology of Norway maple are not well-studied in North America. More research is needed to better understand its key biological traits, habitat requirements and limitations, and interactions with native North American flora and fauna.

  • 29. Lackschewitz, Klaus. 1991. Vascular plants of west-central Montana--identification guidebook. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-227. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 648 p. [13798]
  • 18. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 10. Chaney, William R. 1995. Acer platanoides: Norway maple. Arbor Age. 15(1): 22-23. [42442]
  • 41. Prentice, I. Colin; Helmisaari, Harry. 1991. Silvics of north European trees: compilation, comparisons and implications for forest succession modelling. Forest Ecology and Management. 42: 79-93. [30904]
  • 45. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 48. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 52. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2nd ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 57. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
  • 63. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 34. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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Description and Biology

  • Plant: broad deciduous tree up to 90 ft. in height with broadly-rounded crown; bark is smooth at first but becomes black, ridged and furrowed with age; milky sap.
  • Leaves: paired, deciduous, dark green, palmate (like a hand), broader across than from base to tip, marginal teeth with long hair-like tips.
  • Flowers, fruits and seeds: flowers in spring, bright yellow-green; fruits mature during summer into paired winged “samaras” joined broadly at nearly 180° angle; milky sap will ooze from cut veins or petiole.
  • Spreads: to new areas by vegetative reproduction and seed.
  • Look-alikes: other maples including sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and red maple (Acer rubrum). Distinguish Norway by milky white sap, broad leaves, hair-like leaf tips, samara wings straight out, yellow fall foliage.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

As of this writing, there is very little published information describing the ecological range of Norway maple in North America. Because Norway maple is commonly mentioned as a congener of sugar maple in eastern North America [1,25,31,59,60,61,64], and because of their taxonomic similarity, it is likely that the two species share a similar ecological range in this region. (See sugar maple for relevant information.)

In Europe, Norway maple occurs within a climatic range characterized by maximum and minimum growing degree days (accumulated temperatures above 5 °C) of 2600 and 1150, respectively [41]. Within this range, it generally occurs in lowland areas, wide river valleys, and low mountain habitats. Norway maple is usually found as individuals or small groups in European mixed forests, and does not form pure stands over large areas [36].

Norway maple grows best on moist, "adequately" drained, deep, fertile soils. It is intolerant of low soil nitrogen conditions and is rare on acidic (pH near 4) soils. Norway maple makes "suboptimum" growth on sandy soils or soils high in lime or clay content, and does not tolerate high evapotranspiration or prolonged drought. Conflicting reports assert that it is rare on poorly drained soils, yet it reportedly can tolerate flooding for up to 4 months [36,41].

Northern distribution of Norway maple in North America is probably limited by cold temperatures. Variation in cold tolerance may be related to genetic source, since many cultivars of Norway maple have been developed for this trait. Seedlings can survive temperatures to at least -12 degrees Fahrenheit (-24 °C), although substantial twig tissue damage can occur. Insulation provided by early-winter snow may reduce seedling damage from cold temperatures [43]. Overwintering flower buds may be killed by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. In Russia, damage to bud scales and loss of isolated buds have occurred after exposure for 1 hour at temperatures between 23 and 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 to -3 ºC) and loss of all buds noted below 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5º). Open flowers are more sensitive than buds and may be susceptible to late-season frost. Exposure to temperatures < 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 ºC) for only 15 minutes produced necrosis in the stigma of the style, and 30 minutes of exposure killed entire flowers [28].

  • 1. Anderson, Rebecca. 1999. Disturbance as a factor in the distribution of sugar maple and the invasion of Norway maple into a modified woodland. Rhodora. 101(907): 264-273. [42563]
  • 25. Kloeppel, Brian D.; Abrams, Marc D. 1995. Ecophysiological attributes of the native Acer saccharum and the exotic Acer platanoides in urban oak forests in Pennsylvania, USA. Tree Physiology. 15: 739-746. [42617]
  • 28. Kulagin, Yu. Z.; Mushinskaya, N. I. 1985. Critical periods in the seed reproduction of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.). Soviet Journal of Ecology. 15(3): 111-114. [42567]
  • 31. Martin, Patrick H. 1999. Norway maple (Acer platanoides) invasion of a natural stand: understory consequences and regeneration. Biological Invasions. 1(2-3): 215-222. [42566]
  • 36. Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A. 1990. History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture. 16(11): 291-296. [42704]
  • 41. Prentice, I. Colin; Helmisaari, Harry. 1991. Silvics of north European trees: compilation, comparisons and implications for forest succession modelling. Forest Ecology and Management. 42: 79-93. [30904]
  • 43. Richer-Leclerc, Claude; Arnold, Neville; Rioux, Jacques-Andre. 1994. Growth evaluation of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) under different natural temperature regimes. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 12(4): 203-207. [42562]
  • 59. Webb, Sara L.; Dwyer, Marc; Kaunzinger, Christina K.; Wyckoff, Peter H. 2000. The myth of the resilient forest: case study of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Rhodora. 102(911): 332-354. [42443]
  • 60. Webb, Sara L.; Kaunzinger, Christina Kalafus. 1993. Biological invasion of the Drew University (New Jersey) Forest Preserve by Norway maple. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 120(3): 343-349. [42618]
  • 61. Webb, Sara L.; Pendergast, Thomas H., IV; Dwyer, Marc E. 2001. Response of native and exotic maple seedling banks to removal of the exotic, invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 128(2): 141-149. [42560]
  • 64. Wyckoff, Peter H.; Webb, Sara L. 1996. Understory influence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society. 123(3): 197-205. [42561]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: association, climax

Norway maple is widely planted throughout much of North America. Because it
can produce large numbers of shade-tolerant seedlings, Norway maple may
potentially be found within a variety of forest habitats and plant communities
[36,59,61,64]. It is perhaps best known for its association with the native
sugar maple (Acer saccharum) in the Northeast [31,59,61].

Norway maple is not a climax dominant or indicator species in habitat type
classifications in North America.
  • 31. Martin, Patrick H. 1999. Norway maple (Acer platanoides) invasion of a natural stand: understory consequences and regeneration. Biological Invasions. 1(2-3): 215-222. [42566]
  • 36. Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A. 1990. History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture. 16(11): 291-296. [42704]
  • 59. Webb, Sara L.; Dwyer, Marc; Kaunzinger, Christina K.; Wyckoff, Peter H. 2000. The myth of the resilient forest: case study of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Rhodora. 102(911): 332-354. [42443]
  • 61. Webb, Sara L.; Pendergast, Thomas H., IV; Dwyer, Marc E. 2001. Response of native and exotic maple seedling banks to removal of the exotic, invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 128(2): 141-149. [42560]
  • 64. Wyckoff, Peter H.; Webb, Sara L. 1996. Understory influence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society. 123(3): 197-205. [42561]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [49]:


109 Ponderosa pine shrubland

110 Ponderosa pine-grassland

201 Blue oak woodland

203 Riparian woodland

204 North coastal shrub

207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral

208 Ceanothus mixed chaparral

209 Montane shrubland

411 Aspen woodland

413 Gambel oak

418 Bigtooth maple

419 Bittercherry

420 Snowbrush

421 Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose

422 Riparian

805 Riparian
  • 49. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [13]:

14 Northern pin oak

15 Red pine

16 Aspen

17 Pin cherry

18 Paper birch

19 Gray birch-red maple

20 White pine-northern red oak-red maple

21 Eastern white pine

22 White pine-hemlock

23 Eastern hemlock

24 Hemlock-yellow birch

25 Sugar maple-beech-yellow birch

26 Sugar maple-basswood

27 Sugar maple

28 Black cherry-maple

30 Red spruce-yellow birch

31 Red spruce-sugar maple-beech

32 Red spruce

33 Red spruce-balsam fir

34 Red spruce-Fraser fir

35 Paper birch-red spruce-balsam fir

39 Black ash-American elm-red maple

44 Chestnut oak

45 Pitch pine

46 Eastern redcedar

50 Black locust

51 White pine-chestnut oak

52 White oak-black oak-northern red oak

53 White oak

55 Northern red oak

57 Yellow-poplar

58 Yellow-poplar-eastern hemlock

59 Yellow-poplar-white oak-northern red oak

60 Beech-sugar maple

64 Sassafras-persimmon

75 Shortleaf pine

76 Shortleaf pine-oak

78 Virginia pine-oak

79 Virginia pine

80 Loblolly pine-shortleaf pine

81 Loblolly pine

82 Loblolly pine-hardwood

87 Sweetgum-yellow-poplar

97 Atlantic white-cedar

107 White spruce

108 Red maple

109 Hawthorn

110 Black oak

210 Interior Douglas-fir

211 White fir

212 Western larch

213 Grand fir

215 Western white pine

216 Blue spruce

217 Aspen

218 Lodgepole pine

220 Rocky Mountain juniper

221 Red alder

222 Black cottonwood-willow

223 Sitka spruce

224 Western hemlock

225 Western hemlock-Sitka spruce

226 Coastal true fir-hemlock

227 Western redcedar-western hemlock

228 Western redcedar

229 Pacific Douglas-fir

230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock

231 Port-Orford-cedar

232 Redwood

233 Oregon white oak

234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone

235 Cottonwood-willow

236 Bur oak

237 Interior ponderosa pine

238 Western juniper

239 Pinyon-juniper

240 Arizona cypress

241 Western live oak

242 Mesquite

243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir

245 Pacific ponderosa pine

246 California black oak

247 Jeffrey pine

248 Knobcone pine

249 Canyon live oak

250 Blue oak-foothills pine
  • 13. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the terms: bog, shrub

KUCHLER [26] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K001 Spruce-cedar-hemlock forest

K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest

K003 Silver fir-Douglas-fir forest

K005 Mixed conifer forest

K006 Redwood forest

K009 Pine-cypress forest

K010 Ponderosa shrub forest

K011 Western ponderosa forest

K012 Douglas-fir forest

K013 Cedar-hemlock-pine forest

K014 Grand fir-Douglas-fir forest

K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest

K025 Alder-ash forest

K026 Oregon oakwoods

K028 Mosaic of K002 and K026

K029 California mixed evergreen forest

K093 Great Lakes spruce-fir forest

K094 Conifer bog

K095 Great Lakes pine forest

K096 Northeastern spruce-fir forest

K097 Southeastern spruce-fir forest

K098 Northern floodplain forest

K099 Maple-basswood forest

K100 Oak-hickory forest

K101 Elm-ash forest

K102 Beech-maple forest

K103 Mixed mesophytic forest

K104 Appalachian oak forest

K106 Northern hardwoods

K107 Northern hardwoods-fir forest

K108 Northern hardwoods-spruce forest

K109 Transition between K104 and K106

K110 Northeastern oak-pine forest

K112 Southern mixed forest
  • 26. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [17]:

FRES10 White-red-jack pine

FRES11 Spruce-fir

FRES13 Loblolly-shortleaf pine

FRES14 Oak-pine

FRES15 Oak-hickory

FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood

FRES18 Maple-beech-birch

FRES19 Aspen-birch

FRES20 Douglas-fir

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES22 Western white pine

FRES23 Fir-spruce

FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce

FRES25 Larch

FRES26 Lodgepole pine

FRES27 Redwood

FRES28 Western hardwoods
  • 17. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Norway Maple has occasionally naturalized in NE Illinois and probably a few counties elsewhere (see Distribution Map). It was introduced into North America from Eurasia as a landscape tree. Habitats consist of areas along roads and vacant lots in urban areas. Even though it may have the potential to be invasive, this tree is often cultivated in such places as areas along streets, lawns, and city parks.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The flowers of Norway Maple are cross-pollinated primarily by bees, including honeybees, bumblebees, and Andrenid bees. More generally, maples (Acer spp.) are host plants of the caterpillars of Acronicta leporina (Leporina Dagger Moth) and other moths, the larvae of Anoplophora glabripennis (Asian Long-Horned Beetle) and other long-horned beetles, leafhoppers (Eratoneura spp.), and Neopulvinaria innumerabilis (Cottony Maple Scale). Among vertebrate animals, the seeds and buds are eaten by many species of birds (see Bird Table). The seeds are also eaten by the Black Bear, Raccoon, Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, White-Footed Mouse, and Meadow Vole. Leaves and twigs of maples are browsed by White-Tailed Deer, while the Cottontail Rabbit browses the foliage of young saplings.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous, immersed, densely clustered into groups pycnidium of Asteromella coelomycetous anamorph of Asteromella platanoidis parasitises fading leaf of seedling of Acer platanoides
Remarks: season: 6-11

Foodplant / spot causer
colony of Cristulariella anamorph of Cristulariella depraedans causes spots on live, green leaf of Acer platanoides
Remarks: season: 8-9

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Crustomyces expallens is saprobic on hard, barely decayed, corticate log (large) of Acer platanoides

Foodplant / pathogen
subcortical colony of Cryptostroma dematiaceous anamorph of Cryptostroma corticale infects and damages subcortex of standing tree of Acer platanoides

Foodplant / saprobe
cortical, bursting through, multilocular, dark-brown stroma of Cytosporina coelomycetous anamorph of Cytosporina notha is saprobic on dead, dry bark of Acer platanoides

Plant / epiphyte
Licea kleistobolus grows on live bark of Acer platanoides

Plant / epiphyte
Licea margaritacea grows on live bark of Acer platanoides

Plant / epiphyte
Licea parasitica grows on live bark of Acer platanoides

Foodplant / spot causer
amphigenous colony of Mycocentrospora anamorph of Mycocentrospora acerina causes spots on live leaf of Acer platanoides

Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous, covered, then open acervulus of Phloeospora coelomycetous anamorph of Phloeospora platanoidis causes spots on live leaf of young plant of Acer platanoides

Foodplant / parasite
Sawadaea tulasnei parasitises Acer platanoides

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire tolerant, mesic, prescribed fire, presence, surface fire

Prescribed fire may or may not be an effective tool for controlling Norway maple. Where physical conditions are sufficient for carrying surface fire, Norway maple presumably can be killed by fire. Although its ecological range in North America is poorly studied, areas where Norway maple is planted and is likely to escape cultivation are subject to a variety of FIRE REGIMES.

In the mixed mesophytic and northern hardwoods ecosystem types of the Northeast, where Norway maple is most commonly reported outside cultivation, fire return intervals range from 35 years to many centuries. Some of these areas, especially those with more frequent fire return intervals and a fire tolerant native flora, may provide suitable conditions for using prescribed fire to control invasive Norway maple.

Fire in mesic forest habitats may spread erratically, leaving a mosaic of burned and unburned patches. Prescribed fire is unlikely to be an effective measure for controlling Norway maple in mesic habitats, since many individuals may remain in unburned patches and other fire refugia.

Effects of fire on colonization and invasive potential of Norway maple are unclear. It does not appear that fire would directly promote an increase in Norway maple recruitment. While there is some indication that seed germination is enhanced by soil disturbance [61], exposure to mineral soil is not a prerequisite for germination [41]. In the presence of a seed source, Norway maple maintains a continuously-recruited seedling population. Dense populations of Norway maple seedlings have been encountered in relatively undisturbed forests in the northeastern United States [31,59,64]. It appears as long as a seed source is nearby, Norway maple can continue to recruit seedlings without regard to disturbance regime. Fire that removes all Norway maple stems, including the seed source, should eradicate it or substantially reduce its presence. Presumably, recolonization of burned areas can only occur if a) a surviving seed source is present within seed dispersal distance, b) prefire genets survive via postfire sprouting, or c) a low-severity or patchy fire results in survival of one or more stems in fire refugia. Fire could possibly increase the invasive potential of Norway maple by removing a substantial portion of the forest canopy, enhancing opportunities for postfire sprouts or seedling colonizers from an off-site seed source to gain canopy dominance. It is unclear how long it may take for Norway maple to spread beyond seed-dispersal distance of a solitary seed source. It is also unclear how long it may take post-fire sprouts to reach sexual maturity. It seems likely that time frames for either scenario would be highly variable and dependent upon the local environment, especially availability of light.

Use of fire in areas where Norway maple is present may or may not be appropriate, depending on management goals and the particular ecosystem involved. Using fire to control Norway maple in forest habitats where fire is infrequent may do substantial damage to fire-intolerant native species, such as sugar maple and American beech [61]. Conversely, fire may be appropriate where management goals simultaneously include controlling Norway maple and maintaining native seral species or otherwise enhancing ecosystem structure and function, such as oak (Quercus spp.) forests in the eastern U.S. or ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in the northern Rockies. For more information regarding fire effects on native flora, see the appropriate FEIS species summaries on this website.

  • 31. Martin, Patrick H. 1999. Norway maple (Acer platanoides) invasion of a natural stand: understory consequences and regeneration. Biological Invasions. 1(2-3): 215-222. [42566]
  • 41. Prentice, I. Colin; Helmisaari, Harry. 1991. Silvics of north European trees: compilation, comparisons and implications for forest succession modelling. Forest Ecology and Management. 42: 79-93. [30904]
  • 59. Webb, Sara L.; Dwyer, Marc; Kaunzinger, Christina K.; Wyckoff, Peter H. 2000. The myth of the resilient forest: case study of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Rhodora. 102(911): 332-354. [42443]
  • 61. Webb, Sara L.; Pendergast, Thomas H., IV; Dwyer, Marc E. 2001. Response of native and exotic maple seedling banks to removal of the exotic, invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 128(2): 141-149. [42560]
  • 64. Wyckoff, Peter H.; Webb, Sara L. 1996. Understory influence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society. 123(3): 197-205. [42561]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: adventitious, initial off-site colonizer, root sucker, secondary colonizer, tree

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [51]:
Tree with adventitious bud/root crown/soboliferous species root sucker
Initial off-site colonizer (off-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
  • 51. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. 10 p. [20090]

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Fire Ecology

Fire adaptations: It is likely that Norway maple increases in the absence of fire. Both sugar maple and red maple, native North American species with similar growth habits and habitat requirements as Norway maple, also increase in the absence of fire.

It is unclear to what extent and at what age Norway maple can survive fire by sprouting.

FIRE REGIMES: As of this writing, it is difficult to identify interactions between Norway maple and particular FIRE REGIMES in North America because distribution of invasive Norway maple is ill-defined. We can probably assume that Norway maple increases in the absence of fire. It is likely that frequent fires would limit Norway maple establishment.

The following table lists fire return intervals for communities or ecosystems throughout North America where Norway maple may occur. This list is presented as a guideline to illustrate historic FIRE REGIMES and is not to be interpreted as a strict description of FIRE REGIMES for Norway maple. For further information on fire regimes in these communities or ecosystems see the corresponding FEIS summary for the dominant taxa listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
silver fir-Douglas-fir Abies amabilis-Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii > 200
grand fir Abies grandis 35-200 [3]
maple-beech-birch Acer-Fagus-Betula > 1000
silver maple-American elm Acer saccharinum-Ulmus americana < 35 to 200
sugar maple Acer saccharum > 1000
sugar maple-basswood Acer saccharum-Tilia americana > 1000
Atlantic white-cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides 35 to > 200 [58]
Arizona cypress Cupressus arizonica 40]
beech-sugar maple Fagus spp.-Acer saccharum > 1000
black ash Fraxinus nigra 58]
western juniper Juniperus occidentalis 20-70
Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum 40]
western larch Larix occidentalis 25-100 [3]
yellow-poplar Liriodendron tulipifera 58]
Great Lakes spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35 to > 200
northeastern spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35-200 [11]
southeastern spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35 to > 200 [58]
blue spruce* Picea pungens 35-200 [3]
red spruce* P. rubens 35-200 [11]
pine-cypress forest Pinus-Cupressus spp. 3]
Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. latifolia 25-300+ [2,3,46]
Sierra lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. murrayana 35-200 [3]
shortleaf pine Pinus echinata 2-15
shortleaf pine-oak Pinus echinata-Quercus spp. 58]
Jeffrey pine Pinus jeffreyi 5-30
western white pine* Pinus monticola 50-200
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [3]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [3,6,30]
red pine (Great Lakes region) Pinus resinosa 10-200 (10**) [11,16]
red-white-jack pine* Pinus resinosa-P. strobus-P. banksiana 10-300 [11,21]
pitch pine Pinus rigida 6-25 [9,23]
pocosin Pinus serotina 3-8
eastern white pine Pinus strobus 35-200
eastern white pine-eastern hemlock Pinus strobus-Tsuga canadensis 35-200
eastern white pine-northern red oak-red maple Pinus strobus-Quercus rubra-Acer rubrum 35-200
loblolly pine Pinus taeda 3-8
loblolly-shortleaf pine Pinus taeda-P. echinata 10 to < 35
Virginia pine Pinus virginiana 10 to < 35
Virginia pine-oak Pinus virginiana-Quercus spp. 10 to 58]
aspen-birch Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera 35-200 [11,58]
quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains) Populus tremuloides 7-120 [3,20,33]
black cherry-sugar maple Prunus serotina-Acer saccharum > 1000 [58]
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca 25-100 [3,4,5]
coastal Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii 40-240 [3,35,44]
oak-hickory Quercus-Carya spp. < 35
northeastern oak-pine Quercus-Pinus spp. 10 to < 35
southeastern oak-pine Quercus-Pinus spp. < 10
white oak-black oak-northern red oak Quercus alba-Q. velutina-Q. rubra 58]
canyon live oak Quercus chrysolepis <35 to 200
blue oak-foothills pine Quercus douglasii-Pinus sabiniana 3]
northern pin oak Quercus ellipsoidalis 58]
Oregon white oak Quercus garryana 3]
California black oak Quercus kelloggii 5-30 [40]
chestnut oak Quercus prinus 3-8
northern red oak Quercus rubra 10 to < 35
black oak Quercus velutina 58]
redwood Sequoia sempervirens 5-200 [3,15,53]
western redcedar-western hemlock Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla > 200 [3]
eastern hemlock-yellow birch Tsuga canadensis-Betula alleghaniensis > 200 [58]
western hemlock-Sitka spruce Tsuga heterophylla-Picea sitchensis > 200 [3]
elm-ash-cottonwood Ulmus-Fraxinus-Populus spp. 11,58]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species summary
**mean
  • 2. Arno, Stephen F. 1980. Forest fire history in the Northern Rockies. Journal of Forestry. 78(8): 460-465. [11990]
  • 3. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 4. Arno, Stephen F.; Gruell, George E. 1983. Fire history at the forest-grassland ecotone in southwestern Montana. Journal of Range Management. 36(3): 332-336. [342]
  • 6. Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569. [14986]
  • 5. Arno, Stephen F.; Scott, Joe H.; Hartwell, Michael G. 1995. Age-class structure of old growth ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir stands and its relationship to fire history. Res. Pap. INT-RP-481. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 25 p. [25928]
  • 21. Heinselman, Miron L. 1970. The natural role of fire in northern conifer forest. In: The role of fire in the Intermountain West: Proceedings of a symposium; 1970 October 27-29; Missoula, MT. Missoula, MT: Intermountain Fire Research Council: 30-41. In cooperation with: University of Montana, School of Forestry. [15735]
  • 16. Frissell, Sidney S., Jr. 1968. A fire chronology for Itasca State Park, Minnesota. Minnesota Forestry Research Notes No. 196. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota. 2 p. [34527]
  • 30. Laven, R. D.; Omi, P. N.; Wyant, J. G.; Pinkerton, A. S. 1980. Interpretation of fire scar data from a ponderosa pine ecosystem in the central Rocky Mountains, Colorado. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 46-49. [7183]
  • 9. Buchholz, Kenneth; Good, Ralph E. 1982. Density, age structure, biomass and net annual aboveground productivity of dwarfed Pinus rigida Moll. from the New Jersey Pine Barren Plains. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 109(1): 24-34. [8639]
  • 11. Duchesne, Luc C.; Hawkes, Brad C. 2000. Fire in northern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 35-51. [36982]
  • 15. Finney, Mark A.; Martin, Robert E. 1989. Fire history in a Sequoia sempervirens forest at Salt Point State Park, California. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 19: 1451-1457. [9845]
  • 20. Gruell, G. E.; Loope, L. L. 1974. Relationships among aspen, fire, and ungulate browsing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Lakewood, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Region. 33 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region. [3862]
  • 33. Meinecke, E. P. 1929. Quaking aspen: A study in applied forest pathology. Tech. Bull. No. 155. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 34 p. [26669]
  • 35. Morrison, Peter H.; Swanson, Frederick J. 1990. Fire history and pattern in a Cascade Range landscape. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-254. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 77 p. [13074]
  • 44. Ripple, William J. 1994. Historic spatial patterns of old forests in western Oregon. Journal of Forestry. 92(11): 45-49. [33881]
  • 46. Romme, William H. 1982. Fire and landscape diversity in subalpine forests of Yellowstone National Park. Ecological Monographs. 52(2): 199-221. [9696]
  • 53. Stuart, John D. 1987. Fire history of an old-growth forest of Sequoia sempervirens (Taxodiaceae) forest in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Madrono. 34(2): 128-141. [7277]
  • 23. Hendrickson, William H. 1972. Perspective on fire and ecosystems in the United States. In: Fire in the environment: Symposium proceedings; 1972 May 1-5; Denver, CO. FS-276. [Washington, DC]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 29-33. In cooperation with: Fire Services of Canada, Mexico, and the United States; Members of the Fire Management Study Group; North American Forestry Commission; FAO. [17276]
  • 40. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; [and others]. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 58. Wade, Dale D.; Brock, Brent L.; Brose, Patrick H.; [and others]. 2000. Fire in eastern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 53-96. [36983]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: formation

Norway maple seedlings are characterized as shade tolerant to very shade tolerant. They are often strong competitors in closed-canopy forest understories within the species' North American range [31,60,64]. Seedling growth apparently ceases when light levels fall below 3% of full daylight [22]. Norway maple maintains a continuously recruited "seedling-bank" of persistent, multi-aged seedlings, given a seed source [59,61].

It is likely suppressed Norway maple saplings and seedlings respond favorably following gap formation. In the absence of stand-level disturbance, it is also likely that Norway maple could become a dominant overstory species in eastern deciduous forests where it is established. Along with American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and sugar maple, Norway maple is gradually replacing previously dominant oaks (white oak (Quercus alba), northern red oak (Q. rubra), and black oak (Q. velutina)) in the overstory of a New Jersey piedmont forest [59,60]. Norway maple becomes less shade tolerant with age and mature trees have been characterized as intermediate in shade tolerance [36]. Nevertheless, where it becomes the canopy dominant, Norway maple can suppress regeneration of shade tolerant woody species, including even its own seedlings (see Impacts) [31].

Webb and others [61] raise questions concerning whether Norway maple seedlings are equal to those of sugar maple in persistence, shade tolerance, and response to release, and point out the importance of these questions in determining competitive interactions between the two species. Further research is needed to determine impacts of Norway maple invasion on understory species composition and potential effects on successional trajectories.

  • 22. Helliwell, D. R. 1965. Factors influencing the growth of seedlings of sycamore and Norway maple. Quarterly Journal of Forestry. 59(4): 327-337. [42564]
  • 31. Martin, Patrick H. 1999. Norway maple (Acer platanoides) invasion of a natural stand: understory consequences and regeneration. Biological Invasions. 1(2-3): 215-222. [42566]
  • 36. Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A. 1990. History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture. 16(11): 291-296. [42704]
  • 59. Webb, Sara L.; Dwyer, Marc; Kaunzinger, Christina K.; Wyckoff, Peter H. 2000. The myth of the resilient forest: case study of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Rhodora. 102(911): 332-354. [42443]
  • 60. Webb, Sara L.; Kaunzinger, Christina Kalafus. 1993. Biological invasion of the Drew University (New Jersey) Forest Preserve by Norway maple. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 120(3): 343-349. [42618]
  • 61. Webb, Sara L.; Pendergast, Thomas H., IV; Dwyer, Marc E. 2001. Response of native and exotic maple seedling banks to removal of the exotic, invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 128(2): 141-149. [42560]
  • 64. Wyckoff, Peter H.; Webb, Sara L. 1996. Understory influence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society. 123(3): 197-205. [42561]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: dioecious, natural, resistance

Breeding system: Norway maple is dioecious [12]

Pollination: Norway maple is insect pollinated [36].

Seed production: No information

Seed dispersal: Norway maple seeds are wind-dispersed [28,32,55]. Dispersal distance from seed source is enhanced by winged samaras [28,32]. Estimated lateral distance traveled by samaras in a 6.2 miles/hour (10 km/hr) breeze when dropped from a height of "approximately 3/4 of the maximum height of the species" was 165 feet (50.3 m) [32]. Norway maple samaras dry substantially before dispersal and seeds are desiccation-tolerant thereafter [14]. Seeds are dispersed in fall, which provides a high likelihood of protection under winter snow, conditions usually sufficient for stratification [28].

Seed banking: No information

Germination: Seeds germinate in spring [27,28], following an obligatory period of cold stratification at 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (3-4 °C) for 90-120 days [38,39]. Germination is apparently enhanced by soil disturbance [61], although exposure to mineral soil is not a prerequisite for germination [41].

Seedling establishment/growth: Norway maple produces abundant seedlings each spring [28,29]. First true leaves are formed approximately 3 weeks after seedling emergence [28]. A review of European silvicultural literature characterizes Norway maple seedlings as drought tolerant [41], but other observations indicate that drought resistance of seedlings is low during early development stages [28]. Tolerance to extreme heat or cold is limited during early stages of seedling development. A Russian experiment showed exposure to light frost for 1 hour killed the initial pair of leaves at 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 °C) and cotyledons at 25 to 21 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -6 °C). Cotyledons and leaves were also killed by exposure to temperatures > 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 °C) for 2 to 3 hours. Which particular cultivar or variety was used in this experiment is not known [28]. Insulation provided by early-winter snow may reduce seedling damage from cold temperatures [43].

Asexual regeneration: Information concerning the biology of asexual regeneration in Norway maple is sparse and conflicting. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database [54] indicates that at least one cultivar of Norway maple (Crimson King) has the ability to "resprout," but none have "coppice potential." However, Simpfendorfer [50] lists Norway maple, along with sugar maple and red maple (A. rubrum), as species that regenerate by "coppicing" following fire. Postharvest stump sprouting has been documented, although sprouts originating from saplings and smaller trees are apparently hardier than those from mature overstory trees [61]. A review of European autecological data categorizes "tendency to sprouting" for Norway maple as "vigorous" [41].

  • 29. Lackschewitz, Klaus. 1991. Vascular plants of west-central Montana--identification guidebook. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-227. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 648 p. [13798]
  • 12. Edlin, Herbert L. 1968. Know your broadleaves. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 142 p. [20459]
  • 14. Finch-Savage, W. E.; Bergerrvoet, J. H. W.; Bino, R. J.; Clay, H. A.; Groot, S. P. C. 1998. Nuclear replication activity during seed development, dormancy breakage and germination in three tree species: Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) and cherry (Prunus avium L.). Annuals of Botany. 81(4): 519-526. [42278]
  • 27. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 28. Kulagin, Yu. Z.; Mushinskaya, N. I. 1985. Critical periods in the seed reproduction of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.). Soviet Journal of Ecology. 15(3): 111-114. [42567]
  • 32. Matlack, Glenn R. 1987. Diaspore size, shape, and fall behavior in wind-dispersed plant species. American Journal of Botany. 74(8): 1150-1160. [28]
  • 36. Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A. 1990. History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture. 16(11): 291-296. [42704]
  • 38. Olson, David F., Jr.; Gabriel, W. J. 1974. Acer L. maple. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 187-194. [7462]
  • 39. Pawlowski, Tomasz; Szczotka, Zofia. 1997. Qualitative changes in protein content during cold and warm stratification of Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) seeds. Seed Science Research. 7: 385-390. [42565]
  • 41. Prentice, I. Colin; Helmisaari, Harry. 1991. Silvics of north European trees: compilation, comparisons and implications for forest succession modelling. Forest Ecology and Management. 42: 79-93. [30904]
  • 43. Richer-Leclerc, Claude; Arnold, Neville; Rioux, Jacques-Andre. 1994. Growth evaluation of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) under different natural temperature regimes. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 12(4): 203-207. [42562]
  • 50. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [10649]
  • 61. Webb, Sara L.; Pendergast, Thomas H., IV; Dwyer, Marc E. 2001. Response of native and exotic maple seedling banks to removal of the exotic, invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 128(2): 141-149. [42560]
  • 54. U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Resource Conservation Service. 2003. PLANTS database (2003), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]
  • 55. University of Connecticut. 2001. Acer platanoides (Norway maple). In: Invasive plant atlas of New England (IPANE), [Online]. Available: http://webapps.lib.uconn.edu/ipane/browsing.cfm?descriptionid=32 [2002, December 16]. [43056]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

RAUNKIAER [42] LIFE FORM:
Phanerophyte
  • 42. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Plant Response to Fire

Simpfendorfer [50] indicates Norway maple, as well as red maple and sugar maple, regenerate by coppicing following fire.
  • 50. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. 55 p. [10649]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

There is no published information available as of this writing (2003) describing the immediate effects of fire on Norway maple. Sugar maple, a native species that appears to share a number of biological and ecological traits with Norway maple, is easily damaged by fire. (See sugar maple for detailed fire effects information.)

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Reproductive buds are formed during summer, overwinter, and open in spring when triggered by warm temperatures [28]. Flowering dates vary geographically, ranging from late April to early June in eastern North America [34,45,48,63]. In Russia, flower buds begin enlargement when temperatures reach 41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (5-10 °C). Enlarged buds begin to open when temperatures reach >50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 °C), and fully emerge at between 59 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (15-20 °C) [28]. Leaves abscise late in autumn (e.g. late October in upper New York) [27]. Norway maple typically sheds its leaves later in the season than most native deciduous species in the northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canada, presumably because the growing season is longer in its native European habitat where it evolved [10,27].
  • 10. Chaney, William R. 1995. Acer platanoides: Norway maple. Arbor Age. 15(1): 22-23. [42442]
  • 27. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 28. Kulagin, Yu. Z.; Mushinskaya, N. I. 1985. Critical periods in the seed reproduction of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.). Soviet Journal of Ecology. 15(3): 111-114. [42567]
  • 45. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 48. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 63. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 34. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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Evolution and Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

Systematics

Acer species are sometimes classified in their own family, Aceraceae, but have been grouped in Sapindaceae (along with Hippocastanaceae) in the most recent version of the Angiosperm Phyologeny Group system (Stevens 2001). “Platanoides” refers to the fact that the leaves are similar to those of sycamore (Platanus spp.). The species is also sometimes confused with the related Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Acer platanoides

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acer platanoides

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 16
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Norway maple is listed by the state of Vermont as a Category II plant: "Exotic plant species considered to have the potential to displace native plants either on a localized or widespread scale" [56].
  • 56. Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation; Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nongame and Natural Heritage Program. 1998. Invasive exotic plants of Vermont: A list of the state's most troublesome weeds. Vermont Invasive Exotic Plant Fact Sheet Series. Waterbury, VT. 2 p. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy of Vermont. [38461]

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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Management

Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: competition, density, fire management, hardwood, natural, presence, shrubs, tree

Impacts: Impacts of Norway maple on communities and ecosystems in North America derive from its apparent competitive superiority, especially on forested sites with a cool, moist, rich, shaded environment (see Site Characteristics). Potential effects of Norway maple invasion include reduced abundance and diversity of native species and alteration of forest community structure.

Norway maple negatively impacts sugar maple/American beech forests of the northeastern United States by dominating the seedling layer and displacing shade tolerant native species [62,64]. In a New Jersey Piedmont mixed hardwood forest, Norway maple seedlings reached densities of 40,500 stems/acre (100,000 stems/ha) or 0.9 stems/ft2 (10 stems/m2) [59]. Norway maple seedlings and saplings appear to be strong understory competitors beneath native species such as sugar maple [31].

Norway maple may outcompete sugar maple for understory dominance in eastern deciduous forests by exhibiting superior growth. In a Pennsylvania mixed hardwood forest from 1987 to 1991, Norway maple saplings displayed an average annual height growth increment that was nearly twice that of nearby sugar maple [25]. Kloeppel and Abrams [25] demonstrated how differences in growth may be attributable to physiological characteristics. When daily mean net photosynthesis on a mass basis was compared for saplings of both species at comparable sites throughout a single growing season, values were consistently higher for Norway maple than for sugar maple. Light response curves revealed Norway maple saplings had significantly (P<0.05) higher maximum photosynthetic rates than those of sugar maple, even though saplings of both species had similar respiration rates and light compensation points. Nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiencies were also significantly (P<0.05) higher in Norway maple than in sugar maple on 2 sampling dates. Norway maple saplings also maintained significantly (P<0.05) higher rates of instantaneous water use efficiency than sugar maple saplings at the same site, indicating greater drought tolerance in Norway maple. In addition, average leaf longevity was 12 days longer for Norway maple compared with sugar maple, which probably also contributed to the apparent competitive differences between the 2 species. While these observations represent a single growing season at a single site, they indicate Norway maple may be able to outcompete sugar maple for understory dominance in eastern forests where sugar maple was previously the dominant late-successional species [25].

Presence of Norway maple in the overstory of northeastern forests may lead to reduced woody species diversity. Norway maple canopy trees appear to be more successful at excluding interspecific woody regeneration than canopy sugar maples [31]. In a New Jersey Piedmont mixed hardwood forest, understory/overstory species relationships were assessed to determine impacts of Norway maple canopy trees on understory species diversity. Although understory species composition was similar beneath Norway maple, sugar maple, and American beech canopies, understory richness was significantly lower beneath Norway maple than beneath sugar maple or beech. Norway maple seedlings comprised 83% of stems and 98% of woody seedlings beneath Norway maple trees [59]. Dense shade provided by Norway maple canopies appears to substantially inhibit woody seedling regeneration, including even Norway maple seedlings [31]. There is concern that Norway maple may alter forest structure by shading out other native understory plant species, such as shrubs and spring ephemeral herbs [55], although data supporting this assertion are lacking.

The impact of invasive Norway maple in forested natural areas is likely to be closely related to seed source proximity [1]. While Norway maple doesn't require edge habitat to successfully establish, its spread into previously uncolonized forest habitats is accelerated where adjacent development with landscape plantings provides a substantial seed source. Conversely, large unfragmented forest tracts may become colonized by Norway maple more slowly [59].

More research is needed to determine the nature and extent of risk posed by Norway maple invasion to native plants, plant communities, and ecosystems throughout North America. For example, Norway maple has been identified as a threat for invading conifer forests of west-central Montana [29].

Control: While removal of overstory Norway maple trees is necessary to end immediate recruitment of Norway maple seedlings, pre-existing Norway maple seedlings and saplings are likely to be abundant and should be removed to enhance growth and survival of native species and to eliminate potential future Norway maple seed sources. Control efforts may require removal of Norway maple trees outside the immediate vicinity of a treatment area due to the influx of seeds from relatively distant sources [61].

Because removal of Norway maple from a site may entail removing a large proportion of existing plant biomass, drastic changes in site conditions and species composition may result. While such efforts will hopefully benefit native species, there is also substantial risk of facilitating invasion by other nonnative plant species. Removal of overstory Norway maple trees in a New Jersey forest dominated by Norway maple and sugar maple resulted in invasion by new or newly conspicuous nonnatives, including tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), winged burning bush (Euonymus alata), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) [61].

As of this writing, there is very little information concerning control methods for Norway maple in North America.

Prevention: No information

Integrated management: No information

Physical/mechanical: Research was conducted in a 75- to 80-year old New Jersey forest, dominated in all strata by sugar maples and Norway maples, to determine the effects of a) removal of overstory Norway maples, and b) removal of Norway maple seedlings, on Norway maple and sugar maple seedling banks. Felling or girdling of canopy and subcanopy Norway maple trees significantly (P = 0.003) reduced new recruitment of Norway maple seedlings 2 years after treatment. While sugar maple seedling recruitment did not change significantly (P > 0.05) during this period, overall density of sugar maple seedlings was significantly (P = 0.007) higher. Increased sugar maple seedling density was apparently due to enhanced survivorship of older seedlings, stemming from diminished competition with Norway maple seedlings. In contrast, removal of Norway maple seedlings had no significant (P = 0.12) effect on sugar maple seedling density, and merely resulted in rapid recolonization by newly germinated Norway maple seedlings. Soil disturbance resulting from seedling removal treatments was presumed to enhance germination of Norway maple seeds in the seed bank. It was further speculated that had uprooting of overstory trees been included in the canopy removal treatments, further recruitment of Norway maple seedlings would have occurred [61].

Overstory and subcanopy Norway maple trees that are cut down may resprout from stumps. Larger overstory trees are less likely to produce sprouts that survive for more than a few years, but saplings and subcanopy trees may require further clipping to ensure mortality [61].

Fire: See Fire Management Considerations.

Biological: No information

Chemical: No information

Cultural: No information
  • 29. Lackschewitz, Klaus. 1991. Vascular plants of west-central Montana--identification guidebook. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-227. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 648 p. [13798]
  • 1. Anderson, Rebecca. 1999. Disturbance as a factor in the distribution of sugar maple and the invasion of Norway maple into a modified woodland. Rhodora. 101(907): 264-273. [42563]
  • 25. Kloeppel, Brian D.; Abrams, Marc D. 1995. Ecophysiological attributes of the native Acer saccharum and the exotic Acer platanoides in urban oak forests in Pennsylvania, USA. Tree Physiology. 15: 739-746. [42617]
  • 31. Martin, Patrick H. 1999. Norway maple (Acer platanoides) invasion of a natural stand: understory consequences and regeneration. Biological Invasions. 1(2-3): 215-222. [42566]
  • 59. Webb, Sara L.; Dwyer, Marc; Kaunzinger, Christina K.; Wyckoff, Peter H. 2000. The myth of the resilient forest: case study of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Rhodora. 102(911): 332-354. [42443]
  • 61. Webb, Sara L.; Pendergast, Thomas H., IV; Dwyer, Marc E. 2001. Response of native and exotic maple seedling banks to removal of the exotic, invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 128(2): 141-149. [42560]
  • 64. Wyckoff, Peter H.; Webb, Sara L. 1996. Understory influence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Society. 123(3): 197-205. [42561]
  • 62. Westbrooks, Randy G. 1998. Invasive plants: changing the landscape of America. Fact Book. Washington, DC: Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds. 109 p. [33874]
  • 55. University of Connecticut. 2001. Acer platanoides (Norway maple). In: Invasive plant atlas of New England (IPANE), [Online]. Available: http://webapps.lib.uconn.edu/ipane/browsing.cfm?descriptionid=32 [2002, December 16]. [43056]

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Prevention and Control

Don’t plant Norway maple. Seedlings can be pulled by hand and small to large trees can be cut to the ground, repeating as necessary to control any re-growth from sprouts.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

More info for the term: tree

Norway maple is a popular landscape and street tree throughout much of the U.S. It is most common in the East and Midwest and less popular in the South [10,19,37,43]. Its popularity is due to its rapid growth, wide site tolerances, attractive autumn foliage, and dense, attractive, shade-providing canopy [10,43].

Wood Products: Norway maple is used sparingly as a lumber species in Europe for veneer and for specialty items such as tool handles, gun stocks and violins [36].

  • 10. Chaney, William R. 1995. Acer platanoides: Norway maple. Arbor Age. 15(1): 22-23. [42442]
  • 36. Nowak, David J.; Rowntree, Rowan A. 1990. History and range of Norway maple. Journal of Arboriculture. 16(11): 291-296. [42704]
  • 43. Richer-Leclerc, Claude; Arnold, Neville; Rioux, Jacques-Andre. 1994. Growth evaluation of the Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) under different natural temperature regimes. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 12(4): 203-207. [42562]
  • 19. Gosnell, Ron. 1993. A Halloween tree killer. American Forests. 99(1&2): 34-36. [20049]
  • 37. Nowak, David J.; Sydnor, T. Davis. 1992. Popularity of tree species and cultivars in the United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-166. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 44 p. [21384]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

There are no reports of the use of Norway maple by North American wildlife, as of this writing, but sugar maple and red maple are browsed by white-tailed deer, moose, and snowshoe hares (see sugar maple and red maple).

Palatability/nutritional value: No information

Cover value: No information

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Cultivation

Norway Maple prefers full sun to light shade, more or less mesic conditions, and a fertile loam or clay-loam soil. It tolerates urban pollution and compacted soil. Because the leafy crown casts a dense shade, grass and other kinds of ground vegetation have difficulty surviving underneath this tree. The fallen leaves also contain phytotoxic chemicals that inhibit the growth and development of other vegetation.
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Risks

Ecological Threat in the United States

Norway maple forms monotypic populations by displacing native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous understory plants. Once established, it creates a canopy of dense shade that prevents regeneration of native seedlings. Although thought to have allelopathic properties (meaning that the plant releases toxins that inhibit or prevent the growth of other plants), research has not been able to confirm this.

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Wikipedia

Acer platanoides

Acer platanoides (Norway maple) is a species of maple native to eastern and central Europe and southwest Asia, from France east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southeast to northern Iran.[2][3] It is part of the Acer family, or the Maple family.

Description[edit]

It is a deciduous tree, growing to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) in diameter, and a broad, rounded crown. The bark is grey-brown and shallowly grooved; unlike many other maples, mature trees do not tend to develop a shaggy bark. The shoots are green at first, soon becoming pale brown; the winter buds are shiny red-brown.

The leaves are opposite, palmately lobed with five lobes, 7–14 cm (2.8–5.5 in) long and 8–20 cm (3.1–7.9 in) (rarely 25 cm (9.8 in)) across; the lobes each bear one to three side teeth, and an otherwise smooth margin. The leaf petiole is 8–20 cm (3.1–7.9 in) long, and secretes a milky juice when broken. The autumn colour is usually yellow, occasionally orange-red.

The flowers are in corymbs of 15–30 together, yellow to yellow-green with five sepals and five petals 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) long; flowering occurs in early spring before the new leaves emerge. The fruit is a double samara with two winged seeds; the seeds are disc-shaped, strongly flattened, 10–15 mm (0.39–0.59 in) across and 3 mm (0.12 in) thick. The wings are 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) long, widely spread, approaching a 180° angle. It typically produces a large quantity of viable seeds.

Under ideal conditions in its native range, Norway Maple may live up to 250 years, but often has a much shorter life expectancy in North America, sometimes only 60 years. Especially when used on streets, it can have insufficient space for its root network and is prone to the roots wrapping around themselves, girdling and killing the tree. Norway Maples often cause significant damage and cleanup costs for municipalities and homeowners when branches break off in storms as it is fast-growing and does not have strong wood.[4][5][6][7][8]

Classification and identification[edit]

Norway Maple bark

The Norway maple is a member (and is the type species) of the section Platanoidea Pax, characterised by flattened, disc-shaped seeds and the shoots and leaves containing milky sap. Other related species in this section include Acer campestre (field maple), Acer cappadocicum (Cappadocian maple), Acer lobelii (Lobel's maple), and Acer truncatum (Shandong maple). From the field Maple, the Norway maple is distinguished by its larger leaves with pointed, not blunt, lobes, and from the other species by the presence of one or more teeth on all of the lobes.[5][6]

It is also frequently confused with the more distantly related Acer saccharum (sugar maple). The sugar maple is easy to identify by clear sap in the petiole (Norway maple has white sap). The tips of the points on Norway maple leaves reduce to a fine "hair", while the tips of the points on sugar maple leaves are, on close inspection, rounded. On mature trees, sugar maple bark is more shaggy, while Norway maple bark has small, often criss-crossing grooves. While the shape and angle of leaf lobes vary somewhat within all maple species, the leaf lobes of Norway maple tend to have a more triangular shape, in contrast to the more squarish lobes often seen on sugar maples. The seeds of sugar maple are globose, while Norway maple seeds are flattened. The sugar maple usually has a brighter orange autumn color, where the Norway maple is usually yellow, although some of the red-leaved cultivars appear more orange.

The tree tends to leaf out earlier than most maples and holds its leaves somewhat longer in autumn. Seeds begin forming in mid-spring and ripen over the course of the summer months, finally dropping in the fall. Unlike some other maples that wait for the soil to warm up, A. platanoides seeds require only three months of exposure to sub-40°F temperatures and will sprout in early spring. The heavy seed crop and high germination rate contributes to its invasiveness in North America, where it forms dense monotypic stands that choke out native vegetation. It is one of the few introduced species that can successfully invade and colonize a virgin forest. By comparison, in its native range, Norway Maple is rarely a dominant species and instead occurs mostly as a scattered understory tree.[5][6]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Leaf of 'Schwedleri'.

The wood is hard, yellowish-white to pale reddish, with the heartwood not distinct; it is used for furniture and turnery.[9]

Norway Maple has been widely placed into cultivation in other areas, including western Europe northwest of its native range. It grows north of the Arctic Circle at Tromsø, Norway. In North America, it is planted as a street and shade tree as far north as Anchorage, Alaska,[10] having been first introduced from Europe in the 18th century. During the 1950s-60s, it became popular as a street tree due to the large-scale loss of American Elms from Dutch Elm Disease.[11] It is favored due to its tall trunk and tolerance of poor, compacted soils and urban pollution, conditions that Sugar Maple cannot grow in. Because of the Norway Maple's invasive nature, the London plane, Platanus X acerifolia, is often recommended as a pollution tolerant urban tree for planting where trees cannot be allowed to freely colonise new areas.

It has become a popular species for bonsai in Europe and is used for medium to large bonsai sizes and a multitude of styles.[12]

Norway Maples are not typically cultivated for maple syrup production due to the milky white sap they produce, and the sap's low sugar content.

Cultivars[edit]

Many cultivars have been selected for distinctive leaf shapes or colorations, such as the dark purple of 'Crimson King' and 'Schwedleri', the variegated leaves of 'Drummondii', the light green of 'Emerald Queen', and the deeply divided, feathery leaves of 'Dissectum' and 'Lorbergii'. The purple-foliage cultivars have orange to red autumn colour. 'Columnare' is selected for its narrow upright growth,[6][13] and 'Pendulum' for its weeping habit.

The cultivar 'Crimson King'[14] has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

As an invasive species in North America[edit]

The roots of Norway maples grow very close to the ground surface, starving other plants of moisture. For example, lawn grass (and even weeds) will usually not grow well beneath a Norway maple, but English Ivy, with its minimal rooting needs, may thrive. In addition, the dense canopy of Norway maples can inhibit understory growth.[15] Some have suggested Norway maples may also release chemicals to discourage undergrowth,[16] although this is controversial.[15]

A. platanoides has been shown to inhibit the growth of native saplings as a canopy tree or as a sapling.[15] The Norway maple also suffers less herbivory than the sugar maple, allowing it to gain a competitive advantage against the latter species.[17]

As a result of these characteristics, it is considered invasive in some states,[18] and has been banned in New Hampshire[19] and Massachusetts.[20][21] The State of New York has classified it as an invasive plant species.[22]

The Norway maple is one of three species Meijer Garden Centers no longer sell; Meijer made this decision due to the tree's invasive nature.[23] Despite these steps, the species is still available and widely used for urban plantings in many areas.

Natural enemies[edit]

The Norway maple is threatened in a few areas by the Asian long-horned beetle, which eats through the trunks, often killing the trees.

A number of species of Lepidoptera feed on Norway maple foliage. Norway maple is generally free of serious diseases, though can be attacked by the powdery mildew Uncinula bicornis, and verticillium wilt disease caused by Verticillium spp.[24] "Tar spots" caused by Rhytisma acerinum infection are common but largely harmless.[25]

Aceria pseudoplatani is a acarine mite that causes a 'Felt Gall' that is found on the underside of leaves of both Sycamores (Acer pseudoplatanus) and Norway Maple (Acer platanoides),[26]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since].
  2. ^ Flora Europaea: Acer platanoides distribution
  3. ^ Den virtuella floran: Acer platanoides distribution
  4. ^ "Norway Maple Removal_Point Pleasant Park". 
  5. ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  6. ^ a b c d Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-212035-6
  7. ^ Mitchell, A. F. (1982). The Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-219037-0
  8. ^ Norwegian Botanical Association: Acer platanoides photos
  9. ^ Vedel, H., & Lange, J. (1960). Trees and Bushes in Wood and Hedgerow. Metheun & Co. Ltd., London.
  10. ^ "Trees Near Their Limits -- Alaska". 
  11. ^ "Trees Near Their Limits". 
  12. ^ D'Cruz, Mark. "Ma-Ke Bonsai Care Guide for Acer platanoides". Ma-Ke Bonsai. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  13. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Acer platanoides 'Crimson King'". Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Shannon L. Galbraith-Kent and Steven N. Handel (2008). "Invasive Acer platanoides inhibits native sapling growth in forest understorey communities". Journal of Ecology 96 (2). pp. 293–302. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2007.01337.x. 
  16. ^ "Toronto". [dead link]
  17. ^ C. L. Cincotta, J. M. Adams, C. Holzapfel (2009). "Testing the enemy release hypothesis: a comparison of foliar insect herbivory of the exotic Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) and the native sugar maple (A. saccharum L.)". Biological Invasions. 
  18. ^ Swearingen, J., Reshetiloff, K., Slattery, B., & Zwicker, S. (2002). "Norway Maple". Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 
  19. ^ "Invasive Species". New Hampshire Dept. of Agriculture. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Carol Ness. "Norway Maple". Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  21. ^ Sally Kerans (May 31, 2007). "Invasive plants: Old standards get bad name". Danvers Herald. 
  22. ^ "Interim List of Invasive Plant Species in New York State". Advisory Invasive Plant List. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  23. ^ The Nature Conservancy. "The Nature Conservancy and Meijer Encourage Non-Invasive Plants". The Nature Conservancy. 
  24. ^ Phillips, D. H., & Burdekin, D. A. (1992). Diseases of Forest and Ornamental Trees. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-49493-8.
  25. ^ Hudler, George (1998). Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 248. 
  26. ^ Plant Galls Retrieved : 2013-07-10

Further reading[edit]

  • Wyckoff, Peter H., and Sara L.

ence of the invasive Norway maple (Acer platanoides)." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club (1996): 197-205.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The currently accepted scientific name for Norway maple
is Acer platanoides L. (Aceraceae) [18,45,48,52,63].

Over 100 cultivars of Norway maple have been developed for commercial trade in
North America [10,47].
  • 18. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 10. Chaney, William R. 1995. Acer platanoides: Norway maple. Arbor Age. 15(1): 22-23. [42442]
  • 45. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
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Common Names

Norway maple

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