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Norway maples have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. While these trees have demonstrated invasive traits, there is insufficient supporting research to declare them so pervasive that they cannot be recommended for any planting sites. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting these trees for planting sites. Norway maple is known for its tolerance of urban conditions, but it often becomes a weedy plant through self-seeding. 

  • Family (English) Soapberry (formerly Maple)
  • Family (botanic) Sapindaceae (formerly Aceraceae)
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 40-50 feet
  • Mature width 35-50 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Occasional flooding, Road salt, Wet sites
  • Season of interest mid spring, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Round
  • Growth rate Fast
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Aggressive, Commonly planted
  • Wildlife Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars Yes

Size and form:

Norway maple will grow to 40 to 50 feet tall and 35 to 50 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to Europe.

Bark color and texture:

The bark is gray and fairly tightly ridged and furrowed.

Leaf description:

Norway maple has simple leaves in pairs (opposite) that are 3 to 6 inches long. Leaves are slightly broader than those of sugar maple. The five-lobed leaves are dark green in summer. Fall color can range from yellow-green to yellow.

Flower description:

Small, pale yellow flowers appear in upright, rounded clusters. Although inconspicuous by themselves, they are very showy when the whole tree is in flower.

Fruit description:

The fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras). Each wing is 1 to 2 inches long and the two wings are spread at a wide angle. They start off as green and mature to brown.

Plant care:

Avoid pruning in early spring as maples are ‘bleeders’ and will lose large amounts of sap. Norway maple is adapted to a wide range of soils and environments and is pollution tolerant.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

Norway maple is prone to girdling roots and tends to self sow and become weedy. Verticillium wilt is a potential serious problem. Anthracnose is a common leaf disease. Tar spot is becoming very common on this species.


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